Authorities probing two Western Addition fires

Officials are investigating a series of fires that broke out this morning in and around San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood, San Francisco fire Battalion Chief Leslie Steinhoff said.

Steinhoff said that the worst of the fires broke out in the 2100 block of Sutter Street at around 3:26 a.m., forcing several people to temporarily evacuate their homes and displacing one person.

The fire burned in a narrow gap between two homes at 2170 and 2174 Sutter St., according to Steinhoff. “We had a heck of a time getting in there,'' he said.

According to Steinhoff, the use of a thermal imaging camera allowed firefighters to locate the hotspots and helped inimize damage to the building.

Steinhoff said the damage, which is estimated at $75,000, was limited to the exterior of the structures.

The fire between the two buildings was the fourth in a series of trash fires reported in the immediate vicinity in quick succession, Fire Lt. Ken Smith said Tuesday.

Smith stopped short of calling the fires suspicious, but he said firefighters are looking into the possibility that they were started by the same person.

“We’re going to ask for the public’s help. If you see anyone setting fires or have any indication that there is [someone] setting fire, please let us know,” Smith said.

— Examiner Staff and Bay City News contributed to this report

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