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UPDATE: SF Chinese Consulate Front Door Doused with Gasoline, Set Ablaze

No injuries were reported. The Wednesday night fire is being investigated as an act of arson, according to authorities.

Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.
Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.
UPDATE 12:30 PM THURSDAY

The FBI is investigating a suspected arson at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, an agency spokesman said this morning.

Around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, a person got out of a minivan parked in front of the consulate's front doors at 1450 Laguna St., poured two buckets of gasoline onto the front door and then set it on fire, consulate officials said.

A fire department spokeswoman said the fire was controlled a few minutes later around 9:40 p.m. The fire caused severe damage to the building but no one was injured, FBI spokesman Peter Lee said.

Lee said there was no suspect or motive as of late this morning and that the fire is being treated as a criminal matter.

Lee said the FBI is working with the consulate and the San Francisco police and fire departments, along with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

At a news conference this morning, Chinese consulate spokesman Wang Chuan told reporters the consulate is asking authorities to provide more protection for the building and consular personnel.

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(Original story)

The Chinese Consulate in San Francisco released a statement early this morning condemning a fire that burned the front door of the consulate building in San Francisco's Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood on Wednesday night as an act of arson.

Upon arrival at the Chinese Consulate at 1450 Laguna St. firefighters found the front door of the structure ablaze, a dispatcher said.

According to a statement released by a Chinese Consulate spokesperson on the consulate's website this morning, a person emerged from a minivan parked in front of the consulate's main entrance at about 9:25 p.m. and poured two buckets of gasoline onto the front door before setting it on fire.

According to a fire dispatcher, the fire was reported at 9:33 p.m. and was brought under control by firefighters at 9:42 p.m. No injuries were reported and the fire is being investigated as an act of arson, a fire dispatcher said.

According to a Chinese Consulate spokesperson, San Francisco police and fire officials are working with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security to investigate the fire.

The consulate spokesperson called the arson attack "a violent crime targeted at the Chinese consular institution in the United States" and urged the U.S. government to provide ample protection for all the consulate's personnel and its facilities.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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