Portable toilet set on fire on Van Ness Avenue

A portable toilet caught fire on Van Ness Avenue on Tuesday, damaging a parked car and stoking fears that the famous loo lighter of recent lore may be striking again.

The portable toilet burned in the 2900 block of Van Ness Avenue, in the same general area of The City where dozens of portable toilets were scorched by a serial arsonist in 2008 and 2009. The fire was reported around 3:15 p.m.

“It’s still under investigation,” police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said Wednesday. “It’s not determined if it’s arson yet. We always look at the possibility of it being connected [to the serial arsons from last year].”

In 2008-9, authorities believed an arsonist was responsible for more than 30 portable toilet blazes.The bathroom burnings had been centered in the North Beach, Marina and Russian Hill areas, with some in Potrero Hill, authorities said.

Cops believed the arsons abruptly stopped because the perpetrator was chucked in jail for a different crime.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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