Police and fire department crews responded to five incidents of arson around San Francisco late last night and early this morning. In the Mission, a car was set on fire near 17th and Folsom streets, and at least two cars were burned on Liberty Hill between 4:55 and 5:30 a.m. The San Francisco Chronicle reported another car was set on fire at Cumberland and Church streets.
Jim Hicks, a resident of Liberty street for more than 40 years, said he was awakened shortly before 5 a.m. and could see flashing lights reflected on his ceiling. When he looked outside, he saw smoke coming out of a car with a canvas hood like those used on a Jeep. When firefighters moved the canvas aside, Hicks said he saw flames billow upward from the car. The flames were suppressed quickly, and crews departed around 5:15 a.m.
Another neighbor, Jody McWilliams, said she too had been woken up by the fires.
“I heard something that sounded kind of like a fire alarm,” McWilliams said, adding that it was a continuous sound. Douglas Evans, who also lives nearby, guessed the sound was probably a car horn.
One car, partially damaged, still stood on Liberty street this morning, while a streak of ash and some charred parts were all that was left behind from the fire on Rayburn street. Neighbors said they had heard of one more car burnt around the corner on 21st street.
No employees of various businesses on the block of 17th street where the vehicle arson was reported by police had seen or heard anything of the incident there.
Another vehicle was set on fire in the Bayview, and a portable toilet was burned in the Richmond.
No arrests have been made in connection to the cases. If you have any information about the incidents described above you can leave an anonymous tip at Mission Station by calling 415-552-4558.
Car windows have been broken and keyed in the middle of the night for awhile now. Looks like the new thing is setting cars on fire. Crazy people out there.