Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Alleged drug den in Castro catches fire

Firefighters respond to the fire at 18th and Sanchez streets. (Photo: Seth Hemmelgarn)

Firefighters respond to the fire at 18th and Sanchez streets. (Photo: Seth Hemmelgarn)

A 2-alarm fire broke out Friday morning at an alleged drug den in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.

A spokeswoman for the fire department said there were no injuries.

At about 11 a.m., firefighters were walking in and out of the house, at 18th and Sanchez streets, and hosing it down. The second floor interior appeared to be in ruins, with broken windows and charred wood throughout.

A fire department spokeswoman said arson investigators were at the scene.

Joel Elliott, the gay man who owns the house and has been fighting with the city over it, was at the scene talking to reporters. Asked about the houses’s status as a drug den, he started on a tangent about the city attorney’s office, referring to one deputy city attorney as a “liar.”

Bob Shultz, 85, who’s gay and lives on the third floor of the adjacent house, was helped out of the home by Abraham Navarro, 42, who’d been working in a backyard nearby.

“I was scared about him, because he can’t walk fast,” said Navarro, who used a ladder to get over a fence and get to Shultz, who was unharmed.

Neighbors said people routinely come and go from the house. Shultz, who’s lived next door to Elliott’s home for 40 years, said he’s seen police arresting people there many times.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 23, 2018 @ 2:20 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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