SF dog walker's house destroyed in fire weeks after racist messages; elderly parents trapped inside

Neighbors say they will continue to support Terry Williams' family with a new GoFundMe

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
SF dog walker's house destroyed in fire weeks after racist messages
The house of a San Francisco dog walker targeted with racist packages in recent weeks was destroyed in a fire. His parents are hospitalized.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The house of a San Francisco dog walker targeted with racist packages in recent weeks was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday.

As ashes and debris flew out of the second floor of Terry Williams' home, he described the frightening moments his elderly parents faced hours earlier inside the home.

His neighbors going in to rescue his mom and dad.

"They said they couldn't get to my mom. My dad was trying to get my mom out, so. I wasn't here. The fire happened fast and thank God for the fire department," said Williams.

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When Terry arrived, he tried getting to his mom who was trapped on the second floor as smoke and flames consumed the building where his family has lived for decades.

"I ran past everybody. I was trying to get to my mom. I tried to run past everybody. I ran through the apartment on the first floor. I tried to push past them and fight to try to get to my mom. They kept saying we will get your mom. We will get your mom," said Williams.

The first 911 calls coming in around 11:31 a.m. San Francisco fire investigators were seen scanning the second floor searching for answers.

"Two rescues were immediately accomplished. One on the upper floor, and one on the middle floor, and those individuals suffered serious and moderate injuries and taken to a local hospital where they are being treated at this time," said Capt. Jonathan Baxter.

He added, "These investigations do take time."

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A San Francisco man is livid after finding a doll with a noose around it's neck among other things on the doorstep of his Alamo Square home.

Last month, Terry a beloved dog walker in the Alamo Square neighborhood, received threatening packages with racist messages including a doll with a noose around its neck. Packages that shook this community leading to rallies in support of Terry.

"It's tough. It's really tough," said neighbor Bruce Hill and added, "This whole chain of incidents have really much brought us all together. It will continue to motivate us to take care of each other."

After the racist incidents, Terry and his neighbors have been working on a network of security cameras to help keep a closer eye on their area.

Terry was at City Hall at the time of the fire.

"I feel like I should have been here. I could've stopped it," said Williams. "My parents are elderly and then something like this happens. It's my worst nightmare."

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Neighbors in San Francisco rallied Saturday in support of a Black man who says he's received not one, but two racist deliveries on his doorstep.

The San Francisco Fire Department is still investigating where the fire started and what might have caused it.

In the meantime, neighbors say they will continue to support this family with a new GoFundMe page.

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