Fires In and Around The Tenderloin

by on July 10, 2023

Fire on Larch in February, 2023

Is SF Becoming the Wild West?

It was cold and gloomy at the crack of dawn on June 28 in the City By The Bay.

San Francisco residents were just starting their day.

As I was brewing my coffee, I received a frantic call from my friend, Siggi who lives on Larch street between Van Ness and Franklin.

I wrote about her in April:

She said that her apartment building was on fire. She saw thick smoke and a heavy firefighter presence from her apartment window. Her apartment building’s fire alarms went off and her dog went bananas.

This would be the fourth fire on Larch this year.

Fire on Larch in February, 2023

A tent was set on fire on Larch in April, 2023

A tent was caught on fire on Larch in May, 2023

I told Siggi that I would be coming over her place soon.

When I arrived on Larch, the street was in absolute chaos.

Many residents of the 2 apartment buildings on Larch and Franklin were on the sidewalks in their pajamas, shorts, and suits.

Several of them were very frustrated that they couldn’t enter their garages to get their cars out to go to work.

Fire alarms were blaring. An acrid smell filled the air.

SFFD extinguished the fire on Larch. June 28,2023

Franklin and Larch streets were closed to traffic due to the fire on Larch

Amanda Jones, a witness on Larch, shared with me and SFPD the photos of the man she caught with his pants down set Hotel Le Nain, 730 Eddy on fire.

An unhoused man set Hotel Le Nain, 730 Eddy on fire

Then, the man ran away to Larch.  And Ms.Jones followed him to Larch where he set Siggi’s parking garage on fire.

The same unhoused man who set Hotel Le Nain on fire set a parking garage on Larch on fire. June 28,2023

Footage from the building’s CCTV camera

The man (behind the car) just walked away toward Franklin street after setting the parking garage on fire

Why did he set a hotel and a parking garage on fire?

Ms. Jones explained it to the SF Standard:

Man Reportedly Attempts To Set 2 Tenderloin Buildings On Fire

The day after the fire, Siggi’s building CCTV camera footage revealed a woman from the homeless encampment on Larch threw a pipe at and shattered her 2 apartment windows and 2 other apartment windows across the street from hers.

A shattered apartment window on Larch. June 29

To protect their properties and tenants from ongoing encampment fires, the owners of the 2 apartment buildings on Larch spent $25,000 out of their own pockets on 26 steel horse feeder tanks like the ones along Van Ness I wrote about:

26 steel horse feeder tanks on Larch alley

I have never imagined that steel horse feeder tanks that I usually see in ranches have become the newest trend in urban gardening in the City.

Has our City become the Wild West?

On June, 23, there was also a big fire on Leavenworth and O’Farrell in the Tenderloin as reported by CBS:

The damages from the June 23 fire on an apartment building on Leavenworth and O’Farrell

When I visited the apartment building on July 3, I saw 2 tents in front of the apartment building and 4 tents right across the street with piles of trash on the sidewalks.

Also, there were about 10 drug dealers around the tents across the street from the apartment building.

Nothing has changed much there after the fire according to the residents of the building I talked to while they were walking their dogs.

They continue to live in the fear of the unknown. They fear to become homeless themselves when their building get burned down one of these days.

What do you say to the unchecked actions of someone clearly not making rational decisions that are endangering other people’s lives?

This kind of criminal recklessness is very dangerous and should not be ignored until someone gets hurt.

Filed under: Mid-Market / Tenderloin