SF owner looking for Good Samaritan who helped save building from fire

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — In San Francisco, a gallery owner is looking for the Good Samaritan who tried to save her space from a fire.

This surveillance video shows a man starting a fire outside 111 Minna Gallery to keep warm, that fire spreading inside the building damaging art work for a show.

The owner is hoping this surveillance video will help her find the person who helped put out the fire because they saved more than just the building.

Inside 111 Minna Gallery, whimsical pieces that are worth hundreds and thousands of dollars.

“150 artists that did over 230 pieces, all on vinyl records, all originals,” President and owner Michelle Delaney said. “They put so much time and effort into these pieces.”

At least six of those pieces were destroyed in a fire.

“I didn’t know there was a fire until the San Francisco Fire Department actually sent out a tweet,” Delaney said.

It was Jan. 27 when the fire damaged the wall where the art was hanging.

Delaney says she did not know the cause until she checked her security cameras.

“You see this guy just from 12 midnight to 6 a.m. just trying to keep warm so he’s grabbing everything he can from the alley, grabbing wood, grabbing paper and just doing this bonfire and he leaves probably like 6:30 or 7 or something and he doesn’t even know he started the building on fire,” she said.

Next thing she sees — another man helping after he saw smoke coming out of the building.

“Seriously like one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen,” Delaney said. “I can’t believe this guy. I don’t even know him, never met him and he’s just there trying to save our building.”

To Delaney, it was more than the building saved.

The space has been in the soma neighborhood for 27 years and has been struggling during the pandemic.

Delaney has been hosting virtual art shows showcasing various artists. Before COVID, the venue attracted hundreds of people.

She hopes someone will help her identify the Good Samaritan who saved the art.

“My heart goes out to this man, I’d love to find him,” Delaney said.

The remaining vinyl record art pieces that survived the fire will still be live-streaming for another two weeks but Delaney will have to take the art work down so she can rebuild and fix the fire damage.

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