Three-alarm Castro fire ruled accidental


A three-alarm fire that caused a combined $1.4 million in damage to two buildings in San Francisco’s Castro District on Saturday started in a laundry room and is not considered suspicious, a fire department spokeswoman said Monday.

The blaze, reported around 4:10 p.m. Saturday, began in the second-floor laundry room at 301 Church St., fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said. Flames spread to an adjacent building before firefighters were able to control the blaze at 5:23 p.m., fire officials said.

Talmadge said the cause of the fire was likely electrical or some sort of other equipment failure in the laundry room. The fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage to the three-story structure at 301 Church St. and $250,000 to its contents.

An adjacent two-unit building sustained $100,000 in structural damage and $50,000 in damage to its contents, fire officials said. A third building to the rear of 301 Church St. had some water damage stemming from the response to the fire.

The American Red Cross responded to assist the 12 adults displaced by the fire, while San Francisco Animal Care and Control officials cared for a cat that suffered smoke inhalation, fire officials said.

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