Single-alarm fire at SF State Administration Building under control; cause unknown

Workers attempt to clean damage done by a freshly extinguished fire on the roof of the Administration Building, August 8, 2012. Special to Xpress / Gil Riego Jr.

A single-alarm fire broke out on the roof of the old Administration Building Aug. 8 around 4 p.m., according to San Francisco Fire Department representatives.

Two engine companies responded to a call at 4:02 p.m. and had the fire under control by 4:27 p.m. according to officials with the SFFD. The building was evacuated, but no injuries were reported.

“The fire department cleared the building right away,” Michael Martin, executive director of SF State’s Human Resources, Safety and Risk Management department said. Martin explained that employees had enough time to pack up their belongings and move out to ensure safety.

The halls of the building were slightly flooded in the lower levels. It has not been confirmed whether the sprinkler system was the cause. However, Martin said the mess would be cleaned up by the time employees returned to work tomorrow.

SFFD representatives do not know the immediate cause of the fire, but said that workers may have been using torches in the area before the fire ignited.

University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin said the accident was a result of a problem with the roofing material. Specifics were not disclosed.

“Now we are doing damage assessment and the contractors are working on roof repair,” Griffin said.

Communications department assistant Gianna Devoto said initially there was a moment of panic, but the fire department rushed in quickly enough to calm things down and clear the building.

“The fire alarm went off so everyone in my office left,” Devoto said. “I saw the smoke and I walked around to get a closer look. Everything was pretty calm.”