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San Francisco Fire Destroyed At Least Six Buildings

Firefighters battle a fire Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco. About 150 firefighters battled a massive blaze that raged through three buildings, sending a thick, black plume of smoke up to the sky and embers to a nearby freeway. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group via AP)

Five-alarm fire in South of Market neighborhood

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About 150 firefighters battled a massive blaze that raged through at least six buildings in San Francisco Tuesday, sending embers to a nearby freeway and a thick, black plume of smoke up to the sky and across the bay.

One southbound lane of Highway 101 was closed because of the blaze that started in a commercial building in the South of Market, or SOMA, neighborhood, the California Highway Patrol said.

People in neighboring buildings had to evacuate and power was knocked down because of the blaze, trapping several people in elevators in nearby buildings. One firefighter had minor injuries, Deputy Fire Chief Victor Wyrsch said.

The buildings affected by the blaze include a sheriff’s training and administrative office, where a deputy was able to remove ammunition from the basement as the fire approached the building. Firefighters stopped the fire from reaching the building’s roof, Wyrsch said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Brian Bartfeld told KTVU that his family’s construction supply business, Bartfeld Sales Co., was on fire.

“The whole building is gone,” he said. He said no one had been inside the building.

The business has been around since 1947 and contains many flammable materials, including building material, lumber, wooden palettes and cardboard boxes, he said.

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