The building destroyed by a five-alarm fire last fall in a crowded part of San Francisco's Mission District had no smoke detectors or any sprinkler system, KQED has learned.
The Sept. 4 fire at 2632 Mission St. injured five people, including three firefighters, and caused close to $5 million in damage to six structures.
Most of the damage, though, was to the building that housed Big House Inc., a large "dollar store"-type retail store.
Investigators determined that the fire began in the sales area or showroom of the store, which was on the building's first floor. But seven months later, they have not been able to conclude the cause of the blaze, according to a newly obtained report by the San Francisco Fire Department.
The structure was built in 1916. Current code does not require sprinklers and detectors for older buildings, said Bill Strawn, a spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection (DBI).