A portable toilet in Pacific Heights made quite a stink Monday morning, as police had to evacuate the area around it due to a suspicious object inside that turned out to be a flammable liquid, police Officer Albie Esparza said.
Police received the call about 10:35 a.m., Esparza said, and immediately closed off the 2100 block of Scott Street and several surrounding blocks.
The bomb squad and fire department's hazardous materials team discovered the flammable liquid inside and deemed the incident a failed arson attempt.
The area was deemed clear at 1:35 p.m. and the streets were reopened.
Portable toilets have often been a target for arsonists in San Francisco, with scattered incidents between 2010 and 2012, and in 2008-09 there was a string of portable toilet fires, where investigators at the time believed one person was responsible for more than 30 such cases. When they mysteriously stopped, police said the arsonist was probably arrested for another crime.
Anyone with information on the latest arson attempt is encouraged to call police at (415) 575-4444 or text at TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.