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5 businesses damaged, 4 residents displaced in 2-alarm Geary Blvd. fire

Photos: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on November 05, 2019.

On Monday, a two-alarm fire broke out in building on Geary Blvd., near 18th Ave., causing damage to the five businesses on the ground floor — Geary Convenience Store, Abbas Fard Property Management, Quality Shoe Repair, Rick's Barber Shop and The Bagel Bakery Café. 

The three-story building had residential units upstairs as well, and officials say at least four adults living there have been displaced by the blaze.

The fire started around 5:03 a.m., at 5351 Geary Blvd., and was extinguished an hour later. Tenants were able to evacuate the building safely as firefighters battled the flames, which originated in the building's walls and attic. 

The fire was particularly damaging to the building's stairway and outside walls,  according to a notice posted on-site by officials on Monday. When a Hoodline reporter visited the location on Monday afternoon, the power was out in the building.

Notices were posted by fire officials on the building.

While merchants in the ground-floor retail spaces declined to speak on the record, a few told Hoodline that they are facing an uncertain future, and do not know when they will be able to return to normal.

The city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development has activated its Small Business Disaster Relief Fund in response to the blaze. The fund allows the five businesses impacted by the fire to access up to $10,000 for inventory replacement, equipment purchases, security deposits for a new lease, employee salaries or other expenses to stabilize cash flow.

The immediate weeks after a disaster are often critical for a business to determine whether it can resume operations, city representatives said in a statement. Insurance payments and traditional loans can often take months to pay out. 

Created in the wake of the catastrophic fire at 22nd and Mission streets in 2015, the fund was also activated after a 2016 five-alarm fire at 29th and Mission streets, and a two-alarm 2017 fire on the 1100 block of Stockton Street (at Jackson).

We'll continue to keep you posted on the fate of the building and the businesses affected. 

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