KTVU: Queens Nails Gallery Owner May Face Arson Charges

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KTVU-TV did a nice follow-up piece on this week’s art-exhibit fire at the Queen’s Nails Gallery on Mission Street. (Click the image above to watch the video)

Executive Summary: Significant WTF factor from all parties involved. The San Francisco Fire Department is not at all amused.  The gallery owners may face arson charges.

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11 thoughts on “KTVU: Queens Nails Gallery Owner May Face Arson Charges

  1. Good, they should have prosecuted. If stupidity were a defense half of the people in prison would be free. These “artists” are clearly morons who put many lives and businesses at risk. They need to face the consequences of their actions.

  2. Arson is intentional; this was not. If there is a fine for not having a permit from the Fire Department, that would be appropriate. What would charging the owner with arson accomplish? Do you think the owner is going to play with fire ever again? Do you think this incident is going to inspire other people to be careless with fire, so the owner should be punished as an example to others? The owner does not need an extra lesson or punishment. The results of the accident are bad enough.

    • Well, this *WAS* intentional. However, arson requires not just intent, but *malicious* intent, and that was almost certainly lacking in this case.

    • However, there IS a penal code for “Unlawfully causing a fire” that seems like it would apply in this case:

      452. A person is guilty of unlawfully causing a fire when he
      recklessly sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned, any
      structure, forest land or property.
      (a) Unlawfully causing a fire that causes great bodily injury is a
      felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four
      or six years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than
      one year, or by a fine, or by both such imprisonment and fine.
      (b) Unlawfully causing a fire that causes an inhabited structure
      or inhabited property to burn is a felony punishable by imprisonment
      in the state prison for two, three or four years, or by imprisonment
      in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine, or by
      both such imprisonment and fine.
      (c) Unlawfully causing a fire of a structure or forest land is a
      felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months,
      two or three years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not
      more than six months, or by a fine, or by both such imprisonment and
      fine.
      (d) Unlawfully causing a fire of property is a misdemeanor. For
      purposes of this paragraph, unlawfully causing a fire of property
      does not include one burning or causing to be burned his own personal
      property unless there is injury to another person or to another
      person’s structure, forest land or property.
      (e) In the case of any person convicted of violating this section
      while confined in a state prison, prison road camp, prison forestry
      camp, or other prison camp or prison farm, or while confined in a
      county jail while serving a term of imprisonment for a felony or
      misdemeanor conviction, any sentence imposed shall be consecutive to
      the sentence for which the person was then confined.

  3. At the least I would expect the City will go after the Gallery owners for the cost of the emergency response, in the same way they bill for ambulance services.

  4. Gallery owner and artist should definitely face charges for criminal negligence, as HDPDV suggests. In a wood frame building, this was totally insane.

  5. Saw this on the local news. The artist walked away when the newspeople tried to interview her. What a smug piece of trash! Those old, woodframe buildings on that block. With her carelessness, the whole place could have gone up. Good work SFFD!

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