San Francisco police are investigating an arson fire that was discovered early Wednesday morning (June 25) outside someone’s Castro area home in the first block of Diamond Street, but an officer said the fire appears unrelated to other recent blazes in the city.
According to police, the fire department was called to the scene at 12:30 a.m. Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said a resident of the home had placed a box or crate outside that contained wood.
When firefighters arrived, the box was on fire. “The fire damaged the garage door,” said Esparza. There were no injuries, according to a police summary.
Esparza said no suspect description is available, but he added, “Nothing indicates that it’s related” to the fires recently reported in the South of Market neighborhood. Those incidents occurred “geographically in a totally different area,” he noted, and those incidents involved trash receptacles.
Tuesday, police released a video and photos as they sought the public’s help in identifying the person believed to be responsible for the South of Market incidents.
[Update Wednesday night:] Officer Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman, announced Wednesday that police have arrested the man they believe is the South of Market arsonist. Shyy didn’t provide the man’s name but he said more information would be released Thursday. [End update.]
[Update Thursday, June 26:] Police announced the man arrested is Anthony Bejarano, 47, of San Francisco. Bejarano was arrested on the 200 block of Harrison Street Wednesday night and is in “San Francisco County Jail facing six felony counts of arson including arson of an inhabited structure,” Sergeant Danielle Newman, a police spokeswoman, said in a news release. “Bejarano is suspected of committing at least four arson fires in the South of Market Area.”
Newman thanked the public for quickly sending tips and added, “The tips we received resulted in the arrest of a dangerous arsonist believed to be responsible for fires set inside of an occupied building last week.” Police have not released a booking photo [End update.]
“Several of these events have involved construction sites, occupied buildings, and garbage receptacles,” Sergeant Danielle Newman, a police spokeswoman, said in a news release. Police have released a video and three photos of the suspect. No new information was available as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Esparza.
“We’re just hoping that the video helps develop some leads and identify who this person is,” he said.
Anyone with information on the South of Market fires is asked to contact Inspector John Miller of the Arson Task Force at (415) 920-2944.
Tips in the South of Market or Diamond Street incidents may be offered anonymously by calling (415) 575-4444 or texting a tip to TIP411. Type “SFPD” in the subject line and then the message.
The police incident report number for the Diamond Street fire is 140 525 267.