In a remarkably convenient turn of fate, the July arrest of Fafa Chan led SFPD to say (as reported on Tuesday) that they were “confident” that she was responsible for the wave of Carsons that swept the city last month as well as the toilet torchings from earlier this year.

Though surveillance video captured Chan setting a non-car fire, SFPD Captain Al Pardini “admits they have not been able to charge Chan with the car fires yet, or with 27 portable toilet fires earlier in the year, but the search for evidence continues.”

Though the city’s Porta Potties have gone unmolested since Tuesday’s report, at 4 this morning, SFPD officers were flagged down while on 21st Avenue by witnesses to a burning car.

The blaze, at 21st and Balboa, was quickly extinguished and no one was injured. A charred wad of paper was seen underneath the car, possibly indicating that the Carson methodology used in that blaze was similar to those in the previous blazes. But we’re not going to get all Copycat on you, (as much as we loved that movie).

Arson investigators are, uh, investigating. Until then, folks, stay out of porta potties, OK?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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