Caught On Video: Man setting fire inside Mid City Market in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Someone started a fire inside a San Francisco market early Sunday morning and it was caught on surveillance video. The store's owner is hoping someone will recognize the man and turned him in.

There's no shortage of surveillance cameras inside Mid City Market on Geary Street in San Francisco.

"32 cameras," said owner Ehab Shqair.

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Several of them captured multiple angles of a man setting a fire inside the store just after early Sunday morning. Employees called the owner to tell him.

"I opened the cameras to see the store and I saw the flames inside the store, my heart dropped," said Shqair.

In the video, you can see the man unwrap a roll of toilet paper and light the end of it, setting it up so that it would burn and then ignite the rest of the toilet paper rolls.

"He used his lighter, lit the edge of it and the fire starts going and it caught the whole thing," said Shqair.

By the time anyone realized, the man was gone. Employees ran with water and fire extinguishers. The store's owner says luckily they put out the fire before it reached bottles of lighter fluid and fire logs on the bottom shelf.

"If this caught on fire the whole store would be gone," said Shqair.

He estimates the fire which destroyed merchandise and a section of the store caused $20,000 in damages.

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"People are crazy out there I don't know what's wrong with these people," said Shqair.

The San Francisco Fire Department has the surveillance video and is investigating the incident. They say it appears to be isolated.

If you recognize the man in that surveillance video, you're asked to call the fire investigator working this case at 415-920-2933.
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