crimesider

Arrest made over Chinese Consulate fire in San Francisco

Surveillance video shows the explosion in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on Jan. 1, 2014. KPIX

SAN FRANCISCO - The FBI said Monday it has made an arrest in a fire set intentionally at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

One suspect was taken into custody, FBI spokesman Peter Lee said.

Lee did not provide further details, saying FBI Special Agent in Charge David Johnson would have more information at a news conference. 

No one was hurt in the New Year's Day blaze that charred a doorway and damaged the lobby of the building.

Federal officials said shortly after the fire that it was not being investigated as an act of terrorism.

Consulate workers say surveillance cameras showed a person exiting a van with two buckets of gasoline, pouring it on the building before igniting the blaze.

The FBI said earlier that no bomb-making materials were found.

Consulate spokesman Wang Chuan has condemned the attack and would not speculate on a motive.

In March 2008, a group of people poured flammable liquid on a security gate at the rear of the building and set it on fire. No injuries were reported.

That fire came on the day San Francisco supervisors heard public comment on China's human rights record months prior to the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The issue arose because of the scheduled Olympic torch run through San Francisco.

The FBI said the latest fire was not related to the 2008 blaze.

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