Cops try to flush out potty pyro 

Has the Loo Lighter returned?

Police say no, but arson investigators are probing the case of a portable toilet that was set ablaze in Noe Valley on Saturday.

Ingleside Police Station officers were conducting traffic control for an unrelated incident about 2:53 a.m. when they were flagged down by a concerned citizen who noticed the fire, police said.

Cops went to the 200 block of Duncan Street, where they saw the portable toilet, along with a nearby vehicle, on fire. The Fire Department put out the blaze and the owner of the vehicle was notified, police said.

The incident comes on the heels of two mysterious fires in a Diamond Heights apartment building last week, which also are being investigated as suspicious.

San Francisco has a history of portable-toilet pyromaniacs.

From 2008 to 2009, authorities believed an arsonist was responsible for more than 30 portable-toilet blazes. The bathroom burnings had been centered in the North Beach, Marina and Russian Hill neighborhoods, with several also in Potrero Hill.

When they stopped, police said it was likely the perpetrator was locked up for a different crime.

In 2010, a transient was arrested for igniting eight portable toilets. And in 2011, one privy was set ablaze in the 2900 block of Van Ness Avenue.

rnagle@sfexaminer.com

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