Violence, fires mar Fourth of July in S.F.

A host of fires and violent incidents Wednesday marred San Francisco’s balmy Independence Day and attested that the flow of illegal fireworks to The City has not been entirely shut off.

Fire calls were down from last year, but firefighters did respond to 28 outdoor fires on Wednesday and into Thursday morning, San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said Thursday. They responded to 41 calls last year. Several assaults and robberies were also reported, including an incident in which a teenage girl’s hand was injured by a firecracker that was thrown at her.

Talmadge said the amount of illegal fireworks activity, which she said Fire Marshal Barbara Schultheis characterized as “a problem,” was about typical. She said restricting access to open areas of Candlestick Point helped to reduce fires there.

Other areas of The City that experienced heavy illegal fireworks activity included the Mission district, Bernal Hill, Ocean Beach, Dolores Park and Hunters Point, Talmadge said.

In addition to the flames that dotted The City, some tempers flared between revelers, resulting in attacks, police reported.

Two people were stabbed in a fight in Washington Square Park, Mannina said. Two others were shot and injured and a third pistol-whipped in an unrelated fight near the Ferry Building.

In Dolores Park, a teenage girl’s hand was seriously injured when somebody threw a firecracker at her. Mannina encouraged anyone with information about the suspect to contact the police department. The department’s anonymous tip line is (415) 575-4444.

Exact numbers of fireworks arrests and citations and fires confirmed to have been caused by fireworks were not immediately available Thursday.

arocha@examiner.com


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