Blaze Destroys Building Under Construction in San Francisco 

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that provides Loss Prevention Services. Since 1997, we have been working in regions all over the world utilizing the most advanced and current standards.

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September 14th, 2023

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

On Tuesday morning just before 6 a.m. August 1st, a four-alarm fire broke out in Hayes Valley, San Francisco involving a 14-unit condominium building that was under construction. The fire reached all five floors of the building. Five neighboring buildings were damaged by the fire and eight people were displaced, but thankfully, no injuries were reported. 

Firefighters arriving on scene early Tuesday morning. Blaze can be seen blocks away.

The heat emitted from the fire was so intense that it damaged glass windows in buildings across the street. The San Francisco Fire Department had the fire under control by 7:30 a.m. More than 40 fire apparatuses and 130 firefighters helped extinguish the fire. Inspectors examined the structures and scaffolding and needed to bring in a crane to disassemble and clear debris. 

Area residents and members of a local neighborhood association had warned the city previously about fires started near the building by homeless people to stay warm.  Officials are investigating the fire and their concerns.

Picture after rescuers put out the flames. Later that day, the building was razed and scaffolding was removed.

Fires during construction can be even more damaging than a fire occurring in a completed building. This is due to several factors, including but not limited to: sprinkler systems and fire alarms may not be fully installed, adequate fire rated enclosures may not have been provided yet, and fire rated building divisions also may not be present.

Risk Logic performs site inspections for buildings under construction.  Our consultants and engineers inspect for fire hazards and make appropriate recommendations to prevent and control fire and other property loss exposures. Site visits are typically performed at varying stages of completion as fire hazards can vary and tend to increase as construction progresses and combustible materials and furnishings are introduced. Recommendations for improvement may include removing ignition sources from near flammable and combustible supplies, appropriate storage of ignitable liquids, implementing a fire watch and security measures during off hours, instituting a Hot Work Permit program, proper use of temporary heaters, installation of risers with hose connections for fire department use, and additional fire safety measures related to construction sites. Please read our article about fire safety during  construction for more details and contact us about performing a site inspection for your facility under construction.