Sunset district car fire not likely part of series

Police are searching for whoever torched a car in the Sunset district early Wednesday morning, though inspectors believe the arson is not related to previous fires that plagued the Richmond district and downtown earlier this year.

The San Francisco Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle fire near 34th Avenue and Taraval Street in the Sunset district at about 2:30 a.m. The fire was quickly extinguished and police have made no arrests. There was also no indication that it was related to a series of car fires over the summer, according to police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams.

More than a dozen vehicles burned in San Francisco in the month of July.

A 62-year-old woman was arrested in August in connection with the torching of two SoMa buildings, but her attorney said it is “unlikely” she is connected with the car fires.

Police hinted that Fafa Chan was responsible for the spate of car fires in The City, saying that the fires stopped after she was in custody, although there have been two previous attempts before Wednesday morning’s fire. Her defense attorney, Matt Rosen, called the inference character assassination.

Chan is still in custody awaiting trial after pleading not guilty in August to two charges of arson of a structure. Her bail was set at $1 million and her next court date is in December.

The recent wave of car fires is not limited to The City. Investigators in Contra Costa County are currently working to determine if the 17 vehicle fires in Richmond and El Sobrante in the past two and a half weeks are related to the torching of three vehicles in San Pablo on Monday night.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Wire reports contributed to this story.

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