|San Francisco consulate opens after arson attack
The building which houses China’s consulate in San Francisco was open for business with an increased police presence.
Earlier, a fire charred a doorway, damaged the lobby and burned toward the roof.
US federal authorities said the fire was not being investigated as an act of terrorism.
“An incendiary device fueled by gas was detonated at the consulate,'' David Johnson, FBI special agent in charge of the San Francisco division, said at a news conference Thursday, AP reports.
No one was hurt.
Surveillance footage showed a person coming out of a van parked outside with two buckets of gasoline, pouring it on the front of the building and setting it on fire, said Wang Chuan, a spokesman for the consulate.
“We strongly condemn this despicable act and have already made representations with the U.S. on the attack,'' Wang said. “And we hope that the U.S. takes all necessary measures to provide adequate protection to the consular personnel and properties and bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible.''
Firefighters brought the flames under control within minutes, fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
It was not the first time the consulate was attacked. It was struck by blaze in March 2008, when a group poured flammable liquid on a security gate at the rear of the building and set it on fire.