ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:57 PM: We’re on our way to check out an emergency response that has escalated to a hazardous-materials response in the 3000 block of Avalon Way. Avoid the area; updates shortly – and yes, that’s why you are seeing a helicopter overhead; it’s TV. Emergency crews on scene say there’s a “strong smell of gasoline” at the site, which was once a church.
6:08 PM UPDATE: We’re on site – the action is close to Avalon/Yancy. Adding the top photo, sent by Jeff. At least one TV chopper still overhead. No word of any injuries; investigators still trying to find the source, as far as we know. Via the scanner, they’re discussing air-sample readings that so far aren’t showing anything discernible. SFD’s public-information officer has been dispatched so we’ll have a steadier source of information shortly.
6:30 PM UPDATE: A million apologies for our server getting overloaded and shutting down. It’s been reset and hopefully that will be the end of it – we keep increasing capacity and it still isn’t always enough for the next breaking story, so we keep exploring new options for something close to infinite bandwidth. Meantime, nothing new here – fire crews have yet to pinpoint the source, so far as we hear – still investigating all around the building – but keep avoiding the area. For those who are worried about hazardous fumes – there’s been NO confirmation of anything risky – this is all mostly a precaution because of the previously mentioned “strong smell of gasoline.”
6:43 PM UPDATE: Thanks to area resident Jeff, who has the overview of part of the scene and has been updating us – adding another of his photos above this update. He’s seen SFD crews first bring in a tarp, then bring in fans, and he noticed the smell getting stronger at one point, but he hasn’t seen them bring anything out. Also of note, the official incident address has been updated to 30th/Adams.
7:05 PM UPDATE: This is now officially scaling down. Bottom line, according to SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, they didn’t find anything (except evidence of squatters, which neighbors tell us has long been a problem). If you’ve had trouble placing this building – here’s a wider view from William, who lives across the street:
So SFD says the air is safe, no one ever needed to evacuate, and they’ll be packing up. Traffic is moving on Avalon.
7:46 PM UPDATE: Back at HQ; added the photo above showing the big turnout of SFD vehicles, and here’s our video of Moore’s briefing:
As SFD was wrapping up, SPD was going to take a look around, per scanner traffic. So we’ll be following up to see if anything was determined regarding the presence of squatters in the building.