SAN FRANCISCO - The fast moving fire at an unfinished apartment complex in San Francisco's Hayes Valley Tuesday morning had crews working well into the night.
The massive flames damaged five buildings, displaced eight people, and left dangerous scaffolding wobbling in the air.
Authorities brought in a large crane at the intersection of Octavia Blvd. and Oak Street around 7 p.m. to remove the scaffolding surrounding the building, which was under construction.
Nadine Saez was one of the neighbors who had to be evacuated.
"The flames woke us up, the crackling," Saez told KTVU. "It sounded like hail."
Saez said she helped her neighbors evacuate.
"It's messed up," she said. "It's upsetting and it was scary."
Saez and others said the construction site was unsecured, so squatters would use the space and leave before construction crews arrived every morning.
Neighbors said they warned city officials repeatedly about encampment fires in the area.
Fire officials said there was no fire suppression system in place because the building was under construction.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The roads around the burned building will remain closed until the scaffolding is completely removed.
Officials did not have a timeline for reopening the area.