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Feds arrest one in connection with fire at Chinese consulate in San Francisco

By Shimon Prokupecz, CNN
updated 5:05 PM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
  • FBI said a man named Yan Feng admitted to authorities that he has set the fire
  • Video obtained by KTVU shows a ball of fire erupting in front of the consulate
  • No injuries were reported in incident

(CNN) -- Federal authorities have arrested one man in connection with a fire last week at the entrance to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, FBI spokesman Peter Lee said Monday.

According to a criminal complaint, a man named Yan Feng called the Daly City, California, Police Department on Friday and said in Mandarin that he started the fire at the consulate. The FBI reviewed the 911 call on Saturday and Daly City police went to Feng's residence and detained him.

The complaint said the Feng admitted to setting the fire while being interviewed by federal authorities.

Footage from surveillance cameras showed the fire began Wednesday night after someone emerged from a parked minivan, poured two buckets of gasoline on the front door of the consulate and ignited it, the Chinese consulate said last week in a statement.

"We strongly condemn this despicable attack," Wang Chuan, the consulate spokesman, told reporters at the time during a news briefing outside the consulate. "We urge the U.S. side to take all necessary measures to provide adequate protection for Chinese consular personnel and properties."

Chuan characterized the fire as a "violent crime" that not only targeted the consulate but also its employees and residents living nearby.

Lee said last week there was no indication the fire was an act of terrorism.

There were no injuries reported in the fire, though a small number of employees were in the building when it began, Chuan told CNN affiliate KGO.

Surveillance video obtained exclusively by CNN affiliate KTVU appears to show a person standing in front of the consulate. Then seconds later on the grainy video, there is a ball of fire that erupts in front of the building, and the person can be seen walking to vehicle parked only a few feet away. The vehicle then drives off.

CNN's Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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