SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A two-alarm fire in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond left one man dead and a firefighter injured on Monday.
The San Francisco Fire Department first posted about the fire at a multi-residential building near the intersection of Cabrillo Street and 16th Avenue shortly before 3 p.m.
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As thick smoke billowed from the apartment building, one of the residents, Roger Wilpitz, started running through the building, knocking on doors, trying to alert his neighbors. He says the man in the apartment directly below his never answered.
“I was banging on the door shouting his name,” said Wilpitz. “I didn’t know if he was in there or not. It was all locked up like he wasn’t, but unfortunately–belatedly–they pulled him out.”
Firefighters began breaking out windows of the second floor apartment in an effort to ventilate the fire and try to pull the man to safety.
“Members of truck company 12 located an adult male in that unit, and brought him out to paramedics with CPR in progress,” said Jonathan Baxter, spokesman of the San Francisco Fire Department.
He was later pronounced dead.
Baxter said it was too early to know what caused the fire or even what exactly killed the victim.
“When you are in a fire of this magnitude, you do have, in previous incidents, a lot of smoke inhalation issues as well as a lot of fire issues,” said Baxter.
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Baxter said the residents of the remaining three apartments were displaced and will have to stay somewhere else for now because of fire and water damage. Wilpitz said most of his belongings were destroyed.
“These are things that happen in life and we have to deal with them,” Wilpitz said. “The things we lose, they may be precious, but they’re material items and they can be replaced.”