Mysterious Smoke Pours From Soon-to-Close Russian Consulate
Officials say fire was in fireplace, don't let firefighters inside
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2017 4:12 PM CDT
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An official at the Consulate-General of Russia tells firemen there is no problem after smoke was seen coming from the rooftop Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in San Francisco.   (Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – The San Francisco Fire Department says acrid, black smoke seen pouring from a chimney at the Russian consulate in San Francisco was apparently from a fire burning in a fireplace. The AP reports the smoke was seen billowing from the consulate building a day after the Trump administration ordered its closure. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were not allowed to enter the building Friday. San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson Mindy Talamadge says the department received a call about the smoke and sent a crew to investigate but determined the smoke was coming from the chimney.

An AP reporter heard people who came from inside the building tell firefighters that there was no problem and that consulate staff were burning unidentified items in a fireplace. Talmadge said she did not know what they were burning on a day when normally cool San Francisco temperatures were 95 degrees. She said the fire "was not unintentional. They were burning something in their fireplace."

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