Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Another suspicious fire reported in Castro

Another suspicious fire broke out in San Francisco’s largely gay Castro neighborhood this morning (Friday, February 4), outside Eureka Barber Shop and Hair Styling, at 4222 18th Street.

According to police, the fire was reported at 4:13 a.m. after a piece of plastic was found burning in front of the shop’s doorway. The fire was put out before firefighters arrived, according to police.

Police listed victims a 55-year-old man, a 53-year-old woman, and an 11-year-old boy, but no injuries were reported.

A call to the shop was not immediately returned.

The fire follows three similar incidents yesterday morning in the same area. Police referred questions about the incident to the fire department. Lieutenant Mindy Talmadge, a fire department spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message.

In his newsletter this week, Mission Station Captain Greg Corrales said that he and Park Station Captain Denis F. O’Leary “have made apprehending this firebug our top priority.”

Corrales said, “I don’t want to reveal all of our tactics, but suffice it to say that this situation has our full attention.”

In a Facebook message about the fires, out Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro and other neighborhoods, said, “I’m in close communication with SFPD and the Fire Department. Please keep an eye out for suspicious activity and let SFPD know if you see anything. We need to keep our neighborhood safe from this despicable behavior and make sure this stops.”

The volunteer group Castro Community on Patrol has released an advisory asking people to “help keep an eye out for suspicious behavior in the early hours.

“We cannot expect volunteers to be on patrol 24/7,” the group said in an e-mail. “Even if we had patrols out all night, the odds of being on the exact intersection that the arsonist has targeted are extremely low.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 4, 2011 @ 11:15 am PST
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