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FBI Joins Investigation Of Arson Attack On SF Chinese Consulate

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Chinese Consulate Fire in SF

Fire at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. (Photo by Tan Ha via KPIX 5)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The FBI says a fire at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco was ignited in front of the building, leading to an arson investigation and calls from the Chinese government for better protection of diplomats in the U.S.

No one was hurt in the fire Wednesday night that charred the building’s doorway, damaged the lobby and burned toward the roof.

FBI spokesman Peter Lee said the blaze was caused by an “incendiary device,” but didn’t specify what it was. He said no bomb-making materials were found, and there were no traces of an explosion.

A spokesman for the consulate said surveillance video showed a person coming out of a van parked outside the compound with two buckets, pouring the contents on the front of the building and setting it on fire.

City fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said flames were brought under control in minutes after firefighters and police arrived at the scene at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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