Last night around 8:30 I was coming down San Carlos toward 18th Street when I saw a young man dragging a burning pile into the middle of the street. He then stomped on it and poured a water bottle out over it to extinguish the flames. It wasn’t a large fire, but it had been placed under the construction site on that block. After the fire was out the man told me that he had seen a man, who he thought to be homeless, put a pile of clothes down, light the fire, then run away with another bundle under his arm. He figured the man was out to set more fires, so he drove off to see if he could catch up with him. I went to nearby Mission Station to tell the police what had happened. As soon as they learned that the fire was out they could not have seemed less interested. I was happy to wake up this morning to see that there weren’t any other fires lit last night.
Three buildings in the Castro burned over the weekend. Many homes were burned in an Alamo Square fire on February 1st. A man was arrested on February 2nd while trying to start a fire in a building on Valencia near 16th. A man lost his life, and multiple families lost their homes in a large fire on 22nd and Mission on January 28th.
Check your smoke detectors, look out for each other, take whatever preventative measures you can. This city has an uncomfortable history of fires and with all these recent incidents, and an arson on the loose, here’s hoping this doesn’t become a bigger thing.