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5-Alarm San Francisco Fire Started In Garbage Chute

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco fire investigators have pinpointed where Thursday's five-alarm fire in the Western Addition neighborhood started, but are still trying to determine how it started.

San Francisco Deputy Fire Chief Tom Siragusa said that the initial investigation has found that the fire began in the rear of the building at 1015 Pierce Street.

"We have determined the area of origin was in an alleyway where their garbage was collected at the bottom of a garbage chute," said Siragusa.

Siragusa said it's still uncertain whether the fire was accidental or intentional as investigators remain on the scene. The completion of the investigation could take up to a month.

Firefighters spent much of Friday escorting the 41 people displaced back into the structures that were burned to retrieve any possible belongings that remained.

Siragusa said the damage was extensive.

"The property damage to the address on Pierce Street is $6 million and the damage here at 1502 Golden Gate is $2 million," he said.

KCBS' Anna Duckworth Reports:

Siragusa said that the timing of the fire was significant as there were only seven residents in the building at the time and they all got out safely. Two other nearby buildings suffered minor damage in the fire.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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