San Francisco, CA Business District Fire, Jan 1961


San Francisco (UPI) -- Six firemen were injured early today as they battled a four alarm fire in a Sunset District shopping center.
The blaze destroyed Mother's Super Market at Irving St. and 23rd Avenue, and spread to two other businesses and a residence. Firemen estimated damage at $320,500.
A battalion chief responding to the fourth alarm was injured along with three other men when his car collided with a police paddy wagon.
Arson Squad Inspector Frank Collins, who suffered smoke inhalation, said he believed the fire started ether in the rear of the market or De Lee's Bakery. Flames then spread to an adjoining five and 10 cent store and the residence of MRS. MOLLY ELLENBERGER, 50, whose fireman husband, Lt. Fred Ellenberger, was killed in 1950 when he fell from a ladder during a fire.
Most seriously injured were firemen EMMETT McDONALD, 50, and ALBERT CLAYTON, 39, who were hit by falling beams. McDONALD had a concussion and CLAYTON rib and shoulder injuries. Lt. LAWRENCE NIHILL, 54, suffered severe cuts on his right hand.
Capt. ARTHUR GREGGANS, 50, was treated for cinders in the eye, and THOMAS KUNST, 39, cut his right hand.
Battalion Chief JOHN BALDELLI, 48, and his driver, LEO POGETTO, 60, were racing from the fire house at 16th and Albion Sts. when their car collided with a police patrol wagon driven by Patrolman KENNETH DE BRUNER, 33, and acompanied by Patrolman ALVIN JOHNSTON, 44. All suffered minor injuries except POGETTO who had several fractured ribs.

The Times San Mateo California 1961-01-28