As more details emerge about the fire that consumed 434-436 Waller Street on Wednesday night, friends of the house’s residents are planning a fundraiser to help them recover from the tragedy.
It turns out 434-436 Waller was home to some much beloved figures in the San Francisco bluegrass scene. The upper unit was occupied by Pam Brandon (a.k.a. Belle Monroe), whose band Belle Monroe and the Blewglass Boys have been playing in the Bay Area since 1995. Tom Drohan, a bass player with Pam’s band, lived downstairs with his wife Gayle Schmitt, also a musician.
Last night, friends of the residents set up a Facebook page to coordinate plans for a relief benefit of some sort, although details are still being worked out.
“We’re working on having an event with music and a silent auction, time and place to be determined. In the next day or so we will post info on how to participate.”
Yesterday, San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson Mindy Talmadge provided us with more details of the fire and the damage it caused. Some figures:
- The fire was reported at 6:31pm, and brought under control at 7:54pm.
- It was a 2-alarm fire, with the second alarm being called at 6:43pm.
- 85 fire department personnel were dispatched to the scene.
- 434-436 Waller suffered $900,000 of damage by SFFD estimates.
- Next door, 426-428 Waller had $375,000 of damage.
- On the other side, 440 Waller had $25,000 of damage.
- SFFD crews cleared the scene at 3:45am.
- There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters as a result of the fire.
- The fire was determined to be accidental and not suspicious.
- The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
If investigators determine what caused the fire, we’ll be sure to let you know. We’ll also keep an eye on the fundraiser and will update with any more details. In the meantime, go ahead and “like” the event’s Facebook page if you want to be kept in the loop.