Firefighters muffle blaze in Richmond District
Firefighters contained a 3-alarm blaze, triggered by a gas leak in front of Hong Kong Lounge II, at 3:35 p.m., according to PG&E spokesperson Teresa Jimenez.
The five workers who were unaccounted for when the fire broke were found, according to a tweet by SFFD.
Jimenez said the fire started when a third party construction crew struck a 4-inch plastic distribution line that was already marked by PG&E workers on Jan. 28.
“Construction companies are meant to call this line before they begin digging,” Jimenez said. “That is standard procedure.”
At a press meeting near the incident, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said a private contractor doing some fiber optic work caused the fire when workers hit a gas line.
“At this point there are no injuries associated with it,” Hayes-White said. “We have cordoned off and set up a perimeter on a block on each side of where the incident is. All those buildings were searched to make sure residents were alerted and evacuated.
A plume of flame shot into the air at about 1 p.m. near Geary Boulevard and Parker Avenue before spreading, damaging five buildings and forcing the evacuation of residents within a one-block radius, according to the SFFD twitter account.
“We anticipate some displacement and we have some reunification sites,” Hayes-White said. “One is at Mel’s Diner…up the street.”
For those SF residents displaced by today’s fire, a shelter will be opened at 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, located at 1111 Gough St.
Jimenez said about 2,500 PG&E customers are without power due to the fire.
Hayes-White said the the buildings affected by the blaze were mixed-commercial and residential use.
Jimenez said workers shut off the flow of gas at 3:36 p.m., 300 customers will be without gas until the damage is repaired.
An Xpress photographer at the scene of the incident said PG&E workers arrived at about 2:30 p.m.
Sahar Swaleh, Xpress reporter
Chris Robledo, Xpress photographer