The smell of smoke was enough to spike firefighter Mike Estrada's bloodstream with adrenaline. He knew it was going to be a big fire, because there was no wind that morning and yet he could still smell the smoke from blocks away. By the time the fire engine he was riding in began winding its way through the maze of warehouses off Bayshore Boulevard in the Bayview, Estrada's senses were splinter-sharp. He could feel the heat. He could taste the soot. And when his rig turned a corner onto Revere Avenue, all he could see was fire: Backdropped by a dark mat of early morning sky, a blazing behemoth billowed from the... More >>>
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Video stills courtesy of a San Francisco resident
Although it wasnt clear at first how many firefighters were trapped under the debris after the collapse, those working closest to Estrada knew they would have to pull him from the wreckage.