SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Back on Aug. 23, flames were shooting out of a San Francisco apartment building on the same floor that Justin St. Peter lived on at McAllister and Divisadero.
He was home when the fire started and made it out unharmed.
“All I had was my wallet and my phone and the clothes that I was wearing, not even a pair of socks,” said St. Peter.
Thirteen residents were displaced and one person was seriously injured. St Peter’s fiancé, Marion Ollier was away the day of the fire. She returned home to find that her apartment was devastated.
“Something absolutely traumatic to go through because you walk through like literally ruins of what was your life,” she said.
According to the San Francisco Fire Department, after the flames were put out the building was released to the building’s owner the next morning. St. Peter says there was a time period between then and when a team arrived to board up the building that looters got in, taking everything they could of value.
“Had my GPS watch stolen, I had my bike computer stolen, we had our wedding rings stolen,” he said.
The couple says the only things they were able to salvage after the looters and fire were items of clothing. They started a GoFundMe to raise money that will be divided up among displaced residents based on need.
Their neighbors who are worse off will be the priority.
“There are other people who like don’t have a job anymore, lost absolutely everything,” said Ollier.
She and St. Peters were able to secure a new apartment last week and are counting their blessings.
“The traumatic event is just one part of what it is and recovery from that thing can be harder in a lot of ways,” said St. Peters.
KRON4 reached out to the San Francisco Police Department about lootings after fires. They say they are aware that this occurs in the city, but that they don’t collect data on the lootings. Police suggest boarding up the building as quickly as possible and the use of security cameras to help deter the crime.