Car burned up in outer Sunset District fire
Residents of one outer Sunset District street were awakened by an explosion Thursday morning, and looked out their windows to find a car parked on the sidewalk and completely engulfed in a fast-moving fire.
“When I got out here, the thing was totally ablaze,” said John Kenny, who lives on the 4100 block of Moraga Street between 47th and 48th avenues and saw the burning car across the street from his house. “It was a big, huge torch.”
Police are treating the case as an arson, and said in a statement Friday afternoon that the license plates and Vehicle Identification Number had been stripped from the car, a two-door convertible.
“That’s, to me, highly suspicious, worth investigating.” SFPD Officer Carlos Manfreddi said Friday regarding the measures taken to destroy any identifying information about the car.
Kenny said an explosion woke him up at about 5:10 a.m.
“It sounded like a gunshot, really … it was very loud,” said another resident, who asked not to be identified but who lives close to where the car burned.
“I’m very disturbed by the whole thing,” that resident said, adding that the fire added to concerns raised by a recent robbery on a streetcorner half a block away. “It’s a little disturbing on this one block.”
The resident provided photos of the burned car to the Ocean Beach Bulletin, taken Thursday morning after the Fire Department extinguished the fire. The photos show a car burned so completely that the tires are gone and its color is impossible to determine. It is difficult to recognize the make and model of the car, though Kenny said he thought it was a Ford Mustang.
A Dodge Ram pickup truck parked near the burned car was also damaged, with part of its front bumper and one of the headlights melted.
The burned car was towed away later Thursday morning, neighbors said. But early Thursday afternoon, evidence of the blaze remained: Half the branches of street tree were charred and blackened, and granulated clay covered part of the street and sidewalk where fluids from the burning vehicle had leaked.
Kenny pointed out tire marks on the street that led up to the spot where the car burned, and speculated that because the car burned so fast, it might have been deliberately torched by someone who had stolen it.
“I hope that we don’t get any more of these,” said the neighbor who asked not to be identified. “Arson’s pretty scary.”