Why Fire Escapes can’t be locked …

Fatal San Francisco Mission Fire: 1 Dead, 6 injured

On Wednesday evening, a fatal fire broke out in San Francisco’s 22nd and Mission Street, Calif. The fire killed one and injured 6 other residents. Fire fighters battled the fire up until mid-night containing the flames and worked for a couple of hours to extinguish it completely.

The deceased was a man whose identity has been concealed. He succumbed to his injuries and burns after the fire fighters pulled him out of the building. The injured suffering from smoke inhalation and severe burns were taken to the hospital.

The fire destroyed the three storey building leaving 54 people homeless, this includes 9 children. At the same time, the commercial plots of 15 small businesses were destroyed too. Many nearby buildings had to be evacuated as well. The smoke from the fire could be seen right up to Highway 101.

Although the cause is unknown, the building’s owner, Hawk Ling Lou stated that it may have been caused due to one of the resident’s microwave, or so he heard a few of them say. The Fire Chief, Joanne Hayes-White along with Mayor Ed Lee, examined the site and declared that it would be days before the cause of the fire can be confirmed. Also, fire escape evaluations will be conducted to determine whether the fire escape was fully functional.

Owner claims no outstanding violations

Many residents could not make it to the fire escapes and some claimed that the fire escape’s staircases were locked. Mindy Talmadge, the spokesperson for the Fire Department said the residents complained that the fire alarms did not go off. As the fire escape system is to go through a fire escape violation removal in order to certify as functional, the building had a hard-wired alarm system which should have gone off at the earliest. Talmadge also added that it is rather “unusual” for so many residents to be trapped and unable to access the fire escape.

Resident Responses

The residents claimed that the owner locked the fire escapes to check the possibility of vandals accessing the roof and staining the walls with graffiti. Cedeno, a resident revealed that the smoke detector in their apartment didn’t work and that his family has been living in the apartment due to the cheap rent.