Neighbor Saves Man In San Francisco Fire

Published: May 29, 2008 | 7073rd good news item since 2003

A San Francisco man remains in critical condition with severe burns after a heroic neighbor pulled him out of an apartment fire early Monday morning in the city’s Richmond District, a Fire Department spokewoman said.

The fire began at about 4:45 a.m. inside the kitchen of one unit of a four-story, six-unit building at 717 Sixth Ave., Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

According to Talmadge, next-door neighbor Daniel Bateman heard a fire alarm going off and went to the man’s locked door, where he heard him banging inside the apartment.

The 19-year-old neighbor “basically shoulder-opened the door and actually pulled this guy out,” said Talmadge, adding that fire officials are preparing a commendation award for his heroism.

Firefighters contained the blaze to the man’s kitchen by about 5:10 a.m.

The victim, a middle-aged man, is being treated at the burn unit at St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

Talmadge said the man suffered second- and third-degree burns over 20 percent of his body.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated but is being considered accidental, Talmadge said.

A second fire early Monday morning in the city’s Excelsior neighborhood is being blamed on high-voltage wires that ignited a utility pole at about 4:30 a.m. near the intersection of Onondaga Avenue and Alemany Boulevard.

That fire was contained by about 5:40 a.m. and came close to but did not damage a building in the area, according to Talmadge.

The downed power lines caused an outage that initially affected about 6,500 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers nearby, according to PG&E spokesman Joe Molica.

Most of the customers received their power back by about 5:45 a.m., Molica said. The remaining few should get their power back by early Monday afternoon, he said.

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