March 11, 2014
San Francisco Chinese consulate hit by arson attack, no injured
The Chinese consulate in San Francisco sustained fire and smoke damage after an arsonist struck it, the consulate said today, but no injuries were reported.
The consulate said the arsonist struck yesterday night, carrying two cans of gasoline from a van parked on the street and then setting an embassy gate ablaze. The San Francisco Fire Department said it responded two minutes after the fire was reported and quickly got the blaze under control.
Signs of the fire were visible today around the Laguna Street entrance to the consulate, where a door flanked by statues of lions was charred and the area above it blackened by smoke. Broken glass from a window above the gateway of the door lay on the steps, along with some rubble. The interior door just inside the gate was boarded with plywood from the inside.
The entrance hit by the arsonist is around the corner from where most of the public enters the building on Geary Street.
"We strongly condemn this vicious, destructive act of arson towards the American consulate of China, which severely damaged the facilities and threatened the safety of consulate personnel and others," the consulate said.
The consulate said it was working with US authorities, and urged them to solve the crime quickly.
The San Francisco Fire Department said it received a report of a fire at 9:33 p.m. PST (0200 Local time), arrived on the scene within two minutes and brought the fire under control within six minutes.
The fire department said its investigators responded to the scene, which has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.