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5-Alarm Fire Guts S.F. Building

Associated Press

A predawn five-alarm fire of suspicious origin in the Haight-Ashbury District--so hot that it set afire the paint on buildings across the street--was brought under control today hours after it started. Damage was estimated in the millions, but there were no reports of injury.

At its height, more than 140 firefighters battled the blaze, in a building under construction. The Red Cross set up shop to feed and shelter people evacuated over fears the whole block might catch fire. Fire Department spokesman Fred Postel said arson was suspected. The charred building, completely gutted, was to have housed a drug store on the ground floor, and apartments on the floors above.


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