Encampment fires destroy cars in San Francisco’s Mission District

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – About a dozen cars were destroyed by fires that officials say were started near homeless encampments in San Francisco’s Mission District.

A total of three fires torched 11 vehicles and one scooter near Stevenson Street, and they all happened in less than a week. One business owner in the Mission says these encampment fires are a big problem, and her pleas for help are being ignored.

Business owner Desiree Barrera says she’s been complaining to the city about encampment fires for months. Her fears were realized when her black BMW was destroyed last Friday.

Adding insult to injury, people were seen rummaging through Barrera’s badly burned car.

“It’s frustrating and scary,” she said. “The individuals who are causing the fires are still outside. They haven’t been asked to leave and they’re still there with all of their equipment.”

On Monday, just days after Barrera’s car was charred, another fire torched several more vehicles on the same block.

“It’s not normal to not feel safe,” Barrera said. “We need to start addressing the smaller problems that are starting to escalate into bigger problems and I feel like we’re not being seen at all at the lower level.”

Barrera says these fires could have been prevented if city leaders would listen and take action. She believes business owners and unhoused people are being failed.

“I just feel that it’s important to be addressed, especially if I still plan to run a business here and to still live here,” she said.

KRON4 reached out to Sup. Hillary Ronen, who represents the area where these fires sparked. Her office says they are aware of the fires and that they are a tragic consequence of the homeless and addiction crisis San Francisco is facing.

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