Three Dead, Eleven Hurt in San Francisco Fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Three people were killed and 11 others were injured in a fire early Thursday that sent residents jumping to safety from a three-story apartment building, fire officials said.

Residents at the 12-unit building leaped onto nearby rooftops to flee the flames.

''First I heard people jumping off the balcony into our courtyard,'' neighbor Dave Ciaccio said. ''Then I looked out and I saw people running from one rooftop to the next rooftop to the next rooftop trying to escape.''

The bodies of three people were found inside the charred building. Five others and six firefighters were hurt, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.

Four people who jumped out of windows were taken to hospitals, including one with multiple leg fractures who was in critical condition, fire officials said.

''There were three stories of flames and a lot of heat,'' said firefighter Ken Smith. ''A lot of crews took a real big beating and sustained some injuries as a result of the fire.''

Fire officials were investigating the cause of the blaze that was brought under control soon after firefighters arrived.

At least 20 of the building's residents were Mexican, said Alfonso de Maria y Campos, the General Consul of Mexico, who went to the scene Thursday morning.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press