Longtime readers of SFist will remember the on-again, off-again reports of the dreaded Toilet Torcher, who may indeed be more than one person, but who sent many a porta-potty up in flames between 2009 and 2012. We haven't heard of any toilets torched in over two years, but now CBS 5 is reporting that two porta-potties were set ablaze on Sunday afternoon.
This was on the 300 block of Bryant Street around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, and as the SFFD dispatcher put it, these toilets "usually don’t burst into flames on their own." So, yes, arson is suspected.
Hoodline reported on a single case of a porta-potty arson on New Year's Day this year, on Divisadero between Ellis and O'Farrell. At the time the SFPD was unable to find any surveillance video from the area.
The last case we covered here was a porta-potty arson near Lake Merced in September, 2012, but the infamous Toilet Torcher was particularly active in late 2008 and 2009. A 62-year-old homeless woman was briefly suspected in the case after being seen lighting a small fire of her own on the street, but she was never convicted, and her lawyer argued that she couldn't possibly be tied to all the car and porta-potty arsons police were trying to connect her to. No other suspects ever emerged, and the arsons stopped as abruptly as they began.
Anyway, we should all be on the lookout for suspects leaving the area of smoking Port-o-Johns from here on out.