Arson thwarted

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 1stA 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.

A discount arsonist attempted to burn down Foods Co.

On Monday evening, a suspect armed with a knife and some lighter fluid stepped into the Foods Co. grocery store on Folsom & 14th Streets, and attempted to set fire to the place.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on Monday evening — prime dinnertime shopping hours for everyone’s favorite discount grocer. According to fire department officials, the suspect entered and “started pouring lighter fluid on the floor.” Bay City News has more:

The suspect was waving a knife and set the floor on fire, police said.

The fire department responded and quickly put the fire out. Two of the store’s employees were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, police said.

Police quickly arrested the suspect, identified as Shaun Lavell Jones, 24. Jones was born a male but identifies as a female, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

According to police, Jones was booked on suspicion of burglary and arson. It is currently unclear why exactly anyone would want to burn down a grocery store with such delightful soda can displays.

[via: SFAppeal]

[Photo via: Street View]

Cars On Fire In Garfield Square

More carson! Nick Fisher was on the scene last night.

Car FIre

“The fire somehow turned on the horn and headlights which were both blasting for the duration.”

Car FIre

“[The firemen] are trying to get the hood off to put out the fire still burning under there. Eventually they sawed it off.”

Just a week and a half since  2 cars on 18th Street were torched in a row. Still not cool, bro.

UPDATE: Thanks to actual journalism, The SF Appeal gets the official story so far:

[A]ccording to SFPD spokesperson Sgt. Michael Andraychak, the arson task force has determined that the fire was accidental in nature, and is not believed to be connected to last week’s intentionally set fires.

Andraychak, who says he spoke directly with arson investigators, confirms Talmadge’s report that the fire began in one car, then spread to the second. God, sucks for the second guy, doesn’t it? Best of luck to all in dealing with that insurance claim.

Burning Gutters

(still from "Fire in the street spreads to parked cars.")

Sunday night around midnight someone lit the northside gutter between Mission and San Carlos streets on fire. At least two cars parked along the block were caught in the blaze. A third car pulled out from behind them before the fire spread, as seen here.

I came along after the flames had been put out and the two cars were pretty much melted into the sidewalk on their right sides. Since my camera’s in the shop I had no proof until Void (winner of our science themed music video contest) sent us this video by “northofsouthofmarket“.

The owners of the car in front, a middle aged male and female couple talking to each other in Spanish, stood and stared at the melted mess. I asked them what had happened and the man told me that “somebody with nothing better to do came here and lit a fire.”

Is this the work of the “carsonist” we’ve heard so much about? Or just some wanna be burner who missed the last bus to the playa? Either way, not cool, bro.

iViva Zeitgeist! (Boo, Borders)

We got a lot of heartwarming feedback regarding today’s post about the fate of Zeitgeist

1. Malcolm M. recommends a classic Leisure Town installment, “A Grand Day Out”, which may or may not take place in and around the vicinity of the bar in question:


Link to complete slideshow.

2. Outraged Charles B. says:

We should go when Ali is here maybe… although it really calls for a big big group of people. Maybe Mills people and everyone I know in town will want to go out.
We should also burn the Borders to the ground one it’s done.

3. Curbed SF picked up the story. Sarah conjectures as to what might transpire:

Heads exploding, fists flying, inner children dying, Tom Ammiano on the ground, gasping for breath … Madness, just pure, delicious madness.


4. In seeking out art for this follow up, I myself came upon a wealth of good stuff on Flickr, including:

Dick jokes:

Link to larger.

and pink elephant graffiti:

Link to larger.

Also, we’ve gotten a bunch of hits via the SGSF Bay Area group on Suicide Girls, but we don’t know what they’re saying because none of us are members. Anyway, to one and all, thanks for reading.

(Zeitgeist photo by diavolerie, dick joke photo by DrScaryBeard, pink elephants photo by fiveinchpixie)