Man engulfed in flames runs out of porn shop, collapses on SoMa street 

A screaming man who was engulfed in flames ran out of an adult bookstore in the South of Market district in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

The unidentified man suffered life threatening burns after the bizarre blaze at Sixth and Mission streets, police and fire officials said.

Police and fire personnel were in the area responding to a separate call when the man jetted out of the Golden Gate Adult Superstore at 99 Sixth St. around 6:20 p.m.

A woman who claimed to have witnessed the horrific dash said Thursday the man looked like a "running flame."

Firefighters put out the blaze. The critically injured man was transported to St. Francis Hospital's burn center, police said. More than 90 percent of his body was burned, with the burns varying from first-degree to third-degree, fire spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

Witness Steve Rintoul, who manages the adult shop, said Thursday that the customer, who is reportedly not a regular patron of the shop, had been watching a movie at the back of the store when he ran out of the viewing booth screaming and on fire.

The store experienced "zero damage" from the fire, said Rintoul, who suspected the man may have lit himself on fire while doing drugs.

"I would describe it as a Richard Pryor sort of incident," he said.

Pryor set himself ablaze while freebasing cocaine in 1980.

"Our equipment is fine," Rintoul said. "This was solely a personal injuries type thing."

Rintoul described the ablaze customer as a young "working class, blue-collar type of guy."

"He looks like an ordinary guy," Rintoul said. "He was not disheleved, or the way a lot of people on Sixth and Mission streets look. He looked like he was put together."

Rintoul said he was disturbed that people on the street did not try to help him as he was burning.

"The witnesses sat there and looked and nobody did anything," Rintoul said.

The arson task force, made up of police and fire officials, is investigating how the man got burned, police spokesman Troy Dangerfield said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

KCBS has an interview with the police outside of the shop:

 

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