Fundraisers Underway To Assist Polk Gulch Fire Victims

After a two-alarm fire erupted at 1833 Polk St. on July 14, two neighborhood organizations—the Polk District Merchants Association (PDMA) and the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association (MPNA)—are working to support displaced businesses and residents. 

"There is no telling how long it will take before these businesses can rebuild and fully welcome customers again," PDMA wrote on its fundraising page. "As a community, we are rallying behind them with our support at this very stressful time. All donations are greatly appreciated and will go directly to the merchants."

A separate effort from the MPNA is also underway to support the two residents displaced in the fire.

"[We are] actively working with the appropriate city agencies—via Supervisor Peskin's office—to assist the displaced residential tenants, who should be able to return after necessary repairs," said Moe Jamil, MPNA president.

Other neighbors are helping out as well. Gilbert Hoh, co-founder of nearby restaurant Buffalo Theory (1735 Polk St.) told Hoodline in an email that he is working with MPNA to host a fundraiser on Monday, August 14th from 5 to 7 pm.

Folks who make a donation prior to or during the event will have a chance to win a raffle for a private dining experience at the restaurant for up to six people. 

Photo: Kevin Y./Yelp

According to Carole Holt, owner of Russian Hill Upholstery (1829 Polk St.), the fire began with an electrical fire underneath the back stairs of her building.

SFFD arrived on the scene within three minutes of a 911 call, but despite firefighters' efforts, Holt's business—as well as Johnson Leather Corp., California Cowboy and One Half—sustained significant water and smoke damage. 

"I checked in with One Half a day or two after the fire," wrote neighborhood resident Becky Evans. "No visible damage from the doorway, but the smell of smoke was very noticeable."

Evans also noted that she received an email from the business saying that "[it's] taking it one day at a time."

"Johnson Leather sustained extensive water and smoke damage," the business wrote on its website. The company is running limited hours as it dries out, and recommends that customers call before coming to the store. 

Likewise, Russian Hill Upholstery is still open, but Holt encourages customers to call ahead before stopping by. 

As of press time, the campaign has raised $1,800 out of its $5,000 goal.

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Fundraisers underway to assist polk gulch fire victims