FBI: SF Chinese Consulate Fire Set Intentionally

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The FBI says a fire at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco was ignited in front of the building, leading to an arson investigation and calls from the Chinese government for better protection of diplomats in the U.S.

No one was hurt in the fire Wednesday night that charred the building's doorway, damaged the lobby and burned toward the roof.

FBI spokesman Peter Lee said the blaze was caused by an "incendiary device," but didn't specify what it was. He said no bomb-making materials were found, and there were no traces of an explosion.

A spokesman for the consulate said surveillance video showed a person coming out of a van parked outside the compound with two buckets, pouring the contents on the front of the building and setting it on fire.

A consulate statement said China urged U.S. authorities to launch an immediate investigation.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Investigators are on the scene following a suspected arson overnight at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

The consulate says in a statement a person came out of a minivan parked late Wednesday night in front of the consulate's main entrance and splashed two buckets of gasoline onto the front door before setting it on fire.

It was unclear how the consulate knows this, whether there was video surveillance footage or witnesses. Firefighters brought the flames under control minutes later. No injuries were reported.

The consulate calls the incident "a sabotage of a vile nature" and says China had urged U.S. authorities to launch an immediate investigation. San Francisco police and fire are working with the FBI on the case.

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