A house fire that broke out on the same block as the famed Painted Ladies gutted a two-unit building, and it happens to be the home of a longtime neighborhood dog-walker who was recently targeted with racist threats.

The fire began at 11:31 am Tuesday at 907-909 Grove Street, and appeared to quickly envelop the structure. By 12:43 pm, the San Francisco Fire Department said the one-alarm fire had been contained after damaging the second and third stories of the building.

The house is around the corner and on the same block as the famous row of Victorian Painted Ladies on Steiner Street.

Terry Williams, a professional dog-walker who grew up in the neighborhood and is a frequent sight at the nearby Alamo Square off-leash dog area, was not home at the time, but his two elderly parents were, and they were reportedly hospitalized with mild injuries from smoke inhalation.

As the Chronicle reports, Williams had recently been the target of threatening, racially motivated packages sent to him by mail. One included a voodoo doll with a noose around its neck, he told a neighbor, and they allegedly included postcards with racist and threatening messages on them.

The SF Standard reports that Williams was, in fact, at City Hall discussing the threatening packages at the time that the fire broke out. Williams was reportedly meeting with the Mayor's Office, and someone from the office drove him home when they heard about the fire breaking out.

Williams, 49, has two pet Rottweilers of his own, both of which survived the blaze, and a sign in the window of the second-story apartment at the building, captured in a June 2022 image on Google Street View, shows a "Beware of Dogs" sign.

Photo via Google Street View

Williams posted a GoFundMe campaign earlier this month that included a photo of the racist voodoo doll he received, which included bizarrely antiquated racist messages like "go pick cotton" on it.

Williams's elderly father, who is from the South, was apparently most disturbed, and Williams told the Standard two weeks ago that his parents were considering leaving town for a few days because of the threats.

"My dad, he’s from Louisiana, and my mom, too. They’re leery about all this," Williams told the Standard.

The GoFundMe, which has raised almost $17,000 of its $20,000 goal as of today, was for the purpose of installing new lighting and security cameras outside the home.

The fire essentially trapped the 82- and 79-year-old in the building — it's unclear if the parents live in the top-floor unit and Williams in the second-floor unit, or if they share a unit. The fire reportedly impacted an adjoining home where residents were unharmed and were evacuated.

Williams did not suggest in the earlier interview that there was anyone specific he suspected was targeting him — he only mentioned some women from the dog park several years ago who accused his dogs of being overly aggressive with other dogs.

The SFPD was apparently already investigating the packages as a hate crime, and now the fire department will be investigating the cause of the fire.

Department spokesperson Captain Jonathan Baxter tells the Standard, "Any investigation — even if there wasn’t the issues that are attached to this house—takes [time]. We're aware of the items that are attached to the address, but we address every fire the same: with tenacity to find the origin and the cause of the fire."