More than two months after the September 27th fire at 493 Haight Street, investigators are ready to finalize their report on the blaze — and its cause.
Yesterday we spoke with Lisa Moy from the SF Fire Department’s Bureau of Fire Investigation. Moy is the case’s lead investigator, and plans to file her report in the next few days.
The cause of the fire is still classified as “undetermined”, Moy told us, because investigators haven’t been able to speak with anyone who was actually inside the apartment where the fire began.
Investigators have the names and phone numbers of two specific people they need to reach — not the unit’s tenants, apparently, but acquaintances who were likely in the apartment that day. However, multiple calls over the past two months have gone unanswered. Moy said it’s almost as if those people have disappeared.
“We have no ability to reach the people who were last in there,” Moy said. “We know that someone was in there the day of the fire, but we don’t know their last movements.”
Despite the lack of a first-hand account, Moy is confident the fire was caused by the people in the apartment that afternoon, rather than something like, say, faulty electrical wiring.
“It had something to do with human activities in the apartment,” she explained.
She’s heard all the rumors, and while she discounts many of them (meth lab, anyone?), she won’t officially know what happened until she speaks with the occupants.
“People get scared,” Moy said, noting that it’s common for someone who causes an accident to not want to come forward. “When you feel responsible, even if you’re not, sometimes you want to run away.”
Without that input, the investigation report will be filed without a definitive answer for the fire’s cause. But the case itself will officially remain open, in case someone does eventually speak up.
If you have any information that could be useful for the investigation, Moy urges you to call the SFPD’s arson unit at (415) 920-2944.