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Friday, February 13, 2009

SFFD: Arson suspected in fire that injured six San Francisco firefighters

Blaze that badly hurt firefighter called arson

(02-12) 16:29 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A fire in a vacant home in Portola neighborhood that left a San Francisco firefighter critically injured was the work of an arsonist, the Fire Department said Thursday

Investigators reached their conclusion after combing through the charred home at 627 Felton St. in the city's southernmost section. The fire broke out early Feb. 5, and six firefighters were injured when the roof fell in as they battled the blaze.

The most seriously injured was Christopher Posey, a firefighter-paramedic who has worked 18 years with the city. He remains in critical but stable condition in San Francisco General Hospital's intensive care unit.

From the beginning, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White called the blaze suspicious, in part because there was no electricity on in the two-story dwelling when the fire started.

Authorities have said Jimmy Jen, 54, a former city building agency employee whose ex-wife co-owns the home, is a "person of interest" in the case.

Investigators said they were interested in Jen in part because three properties in which he was involved have burned since 1990. Jen has never been charged with arson and has denied he had anything to do with the fires.

His attorney, David Millstein, said Jen was not involved with the Felton Street fire.

Jen's ex-wife, Nancy Jen, has said she knows nothing about how the fire started.

The Fire Department asked anyone with information on the blaze to call the arson task force's anonymous tip line at (415) 920-2944.

Source: http://www.sfgate.com - Link

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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