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Police search for suspect after 2 cars catch fire in San Francisco parking lot

San Francisco firefighters extinguish two cars which were set on fire at a parking lot off Boardman Place on Jan. 2, 2024.
San Francisco firefighters extinguish two cars they believe were deliberately set on fire at a parking lot off Boardman Place on Tuesday. | Source: Courtesy Don Zee

San Francisco police are searching for a suspected arsonist who they say set two cars on fire Tuesday afternoon inside a parking lot half a block from the Hall of Justice.

Firefighters responded to reports of a fire just after 2 p.m. Tuesday in the ABM parking lot between Boardman Place and Harriet Street, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

Police said officers arrived on the scene to find that two cars, as well as the side of a residential building, had suffered severe damage.

Damage to the side of a residential building after two cars were set on fire at a parking lot off Boardman Place on Jan. 2, 2024.
The side of a residential building suffered damage after two cars were set on fire at a parking lot off Boardman Place on Tuesday. | Source: Courtesy Don Zee

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and turned the investigation over to fire investigators and SFPD.

A spokesperson confirmed that police believe the fire may have been arson by "an unknown suspect."

San Francisco firefighters extinguish a fire at a parking lot off Boardman Place on Jan. 2, 2024. Police are searching for a suspect in the incident.
San Francisco firefighters extinguish a fire at a parking lot off Boardman Place on Tuesday. Police are still searching for a suspect in the incident. | Source: Courtesy Don Zee

The suspicious fire near the Hall of Justice took place just days after neighbors in Bernal Heights told police they had seen someone setting ablaze four unoccupied cars on New Year's Eve.

In security camera footage of the Bernal Heights incident that was reviewed by The Standard, a person appeared to pour what looked like gasoline from a large canister onto the sidewalk, street and the roof of a car before igniting it.

San Francisco police did not confirm Friday afternoon whether they believed the incidents were connected.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com