FIRE! Two-Alarm Blaze Damages Homes on Andover Street UPDATE: Family Forced from Home; Two Arrested in Connection with Fire



A two-alarm fire broke out this afternoon the 600 block of Andover Street (near Crescent) in Bernal Heights, damaging two homes. The fire was under control by 4:30. CBSLocal has the details:

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A two-alarm fire that started at a home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood Thursday afternoon has spread to an adjacent home, a San Francisco fire spokeswoman said.

The fire was reported at 3:55 p.m. at a home at 655 Andover St., fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

There were heavy flames in the attic and the blaze extended into one of the next-door homes, Talmadge said.

Firefighters have not located anyone in the homes and no injuries have been reported, Talmadge said.

UPDATE: KTVU adds this:

Heavy flames in the attic of the home spread to a next-door house before the fire was contained, Talmadge said.

The American Red Cross has been called to assist three adults and three children who live in the first home and five adults, one child and three cats who live in the next-door residence, she said.

Personnel from the city’s Department of Building Inspection have been called to the scene to check the integrity of the buildings, Talmadge said.

No injuries were reported in the blaze.

UPDATE: More from KTVU regarding two arrests connected to the blaze:

Two people have been taken into custody in connection with a suspicious fire that caused an estimated $540,000 in damage to two residential buildings in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, a fire department spokeswoman said Friday. [ …]

Two people were taken into custody after investigators determined the fire was suspicious, Talmadge said. The official cause of the blaze has not yet been determined, she said.
Police were not immediately available Friday afternoon to provide more details about the arrests.

PHOTOS: Click images for original source

25 thoughts on “FIRE! Two-Alarm Blaze Damages Homes on Andover Street UPDATE: Family Forced from Home; Two Arrested in Connection with Fire

  1. odd that SFFD said there were “flames in the attic”. that’s a flat-roofed house with no attic. (pretty confident of this, as you can see the firemen standing on the roof and that house is a mirror image of my own house on the next block.) I presume they mean the small airspace between the ceiling and the roof?

  2. Lost a great apartment in hayes valley to a fire. Its the worst thing ever. Waking up to a burning building grabbing your pets and whatever you can think to grab before you run out. Oh yea, and then you get to move the next day.

    • I heard that the wife of the guy that started the fire, the lady who was pictured holding her kid with a big smile on her face, was collecting signatures from the neighbors to say that they are nice people and good neighbors. So did she collect any signatures from 649 Andover, the Zomoras and the Aquino’s? Probably not because they aren’t around because they have no more house. These stupid asses caused the fire that burned down their house which no one really cares about but they burned down the house of their neighbors who had nothing to do with the illegal drugs they were making. How dare you try to say you are good people when you are felons who make drugs and are able bail the drug maker, arsonist out of jail on $325 thousand dollars!!! I figure you can bail him out easy with all the drug money you guys have. If you show me that petition to sign I will take it and set it on fire like you did to your house and your neighbors home!!!!

      • Please see comment of Bob R down bottom of page. I grew up in 649 Andover years ago. Please see my post below. Nieghborhood was a good one. You don’t need people like this here in my old neighborhood!


  3. The family in the blue house has been in the neighborhood for a long time, so the house is likely paid for and the kids are set to inherit it. A lot of us who have moved here more recently often remark that it would’ve been nice to inherited our Bernal home in a similar way, but I’ve noticed that with many if not most of the families like this one, the kids haven’t been served well by their family fortune, which is to say the kids are ne’er-do-well citizens — Uneducated, living at home in their 30s and 40s, sponging off their parents through their whole lives. Many such houses are run down and inadequately maintained, and/or the inhabitants are unconcerned about their neighborhood roles. On my block, there’s a couple of ladies who inherited their houses, and have boyfriends/husbands with loud motorcycles that they’ll rev up loudly, setting off car alarms, and then idle for 30 mins, sometimes at 12:30am. They behave as if no one else exists, much less as if there are no kids or elderly folks in surrounding houses that shouldn’t have to deal with such obtrusive behavior. These folks pay very little in property taxes, since they inherit the tax basis along with the house. I would be happier if such homes were re-appraised when inherited, so at least the kids with the free homes are paying the same as new home owners pay in property taxes. It might result in a greater appreciation for their neighborhood and their neighbors. Even if it doesn’t do that, at least they are contributing their fair share to the maintenance of our fine city. Thoughts?

    • Hmm. I can see some validity here, but I’m not sure we can tar every inheritor household with this slacker brush.

      There is a house on my block that fits your description: Grandkids living in a house their parents inherited when grandma died, with all sorts of suspicious people in and out, drug activity, etc. But there are many others that defy your stereotype. The neighbor behind us inherited his house from his grandmother, and although I don’t think he works a full-time office job, he takes great care of his home, and keeps a close eye on the neighborhood. He often calls or comes by to let us know to move our cars for street sweeping. He lets his next-door neighbors (who have only a deck) plant a vegetable garden in his yard. He’s the very definition of a good neighbor.

      The worst neighbor on our block? A web 2.0 entrepreneur who paid upwards of $1 million for his little cottage. He parties all night into the wee hours, even on weeknights, with live bands and screaming half-naked partiers in his back yard. The cops have been called a dozen times on this guy. He is such an entitled little jerk that he doesn’t understand why people are so “aggro” about his parties. His favorite saying: “You live in a CITY! Get USED TO IT!!”. No, actually, I live in a quiet little village called Bernal. If I wanted to live in the middle of partytown, I’d have stayed in the Lower Haight.

      • I wasn’t trying to tar every inherited home homeowner with the slacker brush, sorry if it came across that way. There are always exceptions, but it’s likely a good majority of the decrepit houses in our nabe are owned by slackers or inhabited by renters. In my vicinity there are two rentals that either about to fall down due to disrepair, or “party zones” that aren’t maintained.

        Across the street from the home that caught fire, there’s a home that has been unoccupied for the 11 years I’ve lived here — the first home on ANdover adter the building that has the “U-Save” market. It was the site of dumping and a drinker hang out until the city went after the homeowner. Now the homeowner can’t afford to fix the sidewalk, so they’ve spread plastic buckets along the sidewalk as “planters.” It looks like shit, imo.

        As for the web 2.0 homeowner, I believe a cease and desist order would be warranted. At least call the police whenever his parties are in progress after 10pm. Call at 10pm. Don’t let up.

    • I’m glad that my property tax did not go up when I took over the mortgage from my in laws. I took over the mortgage and fixed up the property so my family has a nice place to live. We are a quiet family with very little guests and we don’t do any crazy delinquent things that some of these dummies you are mentioning do. So, not everyone who takes over their relatives homes and the same old
      property tax are jerks.

  4. At least you can call the cops on the web weenies without fear of retribution – antennas snapped, tires slashed, windows smashed….. or worse yet – your kids and even their own kids put in harms way. Most web 2.0 homeowners can afford to buy their drugs – they tend not to make them on the deck – consequently burning down the neighbor’s home in addition to their own.

    • The sad news is that the cops won’t come unless someone’s life is in danger. The one time they came out for a simple noise complaint, the officers refused to take action because (a) he wouldn’t come to the door and (b) they couldn’t hear anything from the street, even though it was loud enough to shake the shared walls inside the house and rattle the bedroom windows facing his yard.

  5. word on the street is the fire was caused/aggravated by the use of butane (used for THC oil extraction). highly flammable with a boiling point of 31F (!) … butane is really not a good solvent for amateur use in a residential area. Ah but if they were real organic chemists, they wouldn’t be doing it wrong eh? This is the same thing that happened in Ingleside back in Feb. Why do these people always have kids around? lame.

  6. Here’s the official summary from the Ingleside newsletter:

    3:39pm 600 blk Andover Arson Arrest
    Officers Hauscarriague and Pederson were requested to respond to assist Insp. Levine of the Arson Task Force on a search warrant. The warrant stemmed from a fire that started in one house, then engulfed neighboring homes. At the original scene the alleged victims of where the fire started told officers that they were boiling something in the yard and that the extension cords over heated and caught on fire.
    The officers became suspicious and notified the arson inspectors. Arson investigators were able to find evidence that the reason for the fire was the illegal production of hashish. Two suspects were taken into custody and numerous bags of drugs and drug indicia were confiscated.
    The suspects were booked at Ingleside Station for the drugs and the illegal lab setup that caused several homes to burn. Thanks to the alert and keen observation skills of the original officers, two suspects that had set up an illegal drug lab have been sent to jail. Although there were injuries, none of them were life threatening. Report number 120861118. This is why this is the ***Best Arrest of the Day***

      • When the dust settles and the houses get rebuilt, I hope that these arsonist, drug making felons don’t get to move back in. Bernal Heights doesn’t need neighbors like this!!!!!!

  7. Pingback: The Sad Story Behind the Fire at 655 Andover (and How You Can Help) | Bernalwood

  8. Pingback: Andover Fire Aftermath, Part II: Family From Burned House Next Door Located, “Suffering,” Needs Assistance | Bernalwood

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  10. I spent all my childhood years 0-18 before leaving SF
    for the military in 1961. Live in Florida now. Just visiting SF and was appalled
    To see my home so badly burned. Was able to easily get inside and noticed that the single-family home I was raised in was significantly modified into a
    Multi-family home. Two baths are now four ; three bedrooms are now five; large single garage houses one, but there is a total apartment downstairs. I must say
    That the modifications were quite nice. It was, however, very disappointing to see the extensive damage! So sad. Glad to hear of no injuries. Hope it is repairable. I had a
    Great childhood there. Hope the home brings happiness to all


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