One firefighter was injured and taken to a hospital as fire crews battled a five-alarm blaze burning multiple buildings in San Francisco Tuesday morning, according to the fire department.
Heavy flames engulfed at least six commercial buildings in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, near southbound Highway 101, sending black and gray smoke billowing above the neighborhood and freeway, fire officials said.
The blaze was about 75% contained as of 9:30 a.m., and crews were making progress.
There were power lines down in the street, falling debris and zero visibility in the thick of the firefight, San Francisco fire spokesman Jonathan Baxter said.
“Thick black smoke,” he told NBC Bay Area. “Where we are standing right now, at 6:30 this morning, you would not be able to see me, and I would not be able to see you.”
Firefighters responded to the area of Folsom and 13th streets in what started as a two-alarm blaze and was quickly elevated to five alarms.
The injured firefighter was expected to recover, but the nature of their injury was not provided. No other injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Smoke from the fire drifted all the way across the bay to Oakland and Berkeley, officials said.
The Red Cross was at the scene assisting about 100 people who were working at the buildings and had to be evacuated. The agency set up a staging area in a parking lot at 1745 Folsom St., officials said.
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