Update: The Examiner is reporting that the fire has been deemed suspicious. Authorities are saying that a trash compacter on the first floor of the building had exploded, enabling fire and smoke to spread up the garbage chute and travel throughout the hotel.
Bay City News reports via the Chronicle that a three-alarm fire occurred in the Tenderloin on Eddy near Taylor last night, injuring twenty people, four of whom were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The fire reportedly broke out somewhere on the first floor of the building at around 8:53 p.m. and lasted roughly an hour and twenty minutes.
There were reportedly five fire trucks in front of the building, and a witness saw flames that appeared to be coming from the top of the building. Smoke could be smelled from several blocks away. An "unusual burning smell" and lingering smog and smoke were reported from as far away as the Metreon, which is nearly six blocks away, according to Bay City News.
The American Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at 230 Eddy Street, across the street from the site. As of 10:50 p.m. last night, fifty people were at the center, but it hadn't been determined how many displaced residents needed accommodations for the night.