Black Smoke From Russian Consulate in San Francisco Sparks Media Frenzy

StoryfulNewsPublished: September 1, 2017
Published: September 1, 2017

The San Francisco Fire Department quelled reports of a fire at the Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco on Friday, September 1, a day after the White House ordered its closure. The fire department responded to reports of a blaze after dark smoke was seen coming from the consulate, which was later determined to be coming from a chimney. A fire department spokeswoman, Mindy Talamadge, was cited as saying that consulate officials were “burning something in their fireplace.” The department addressed the media on Twitter, saying, “MEDIA! The Russian embassy had a fire alarm, NOT A FIRE. Everything is okay and we are clearing. Thank you.” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later wrote on Facebook that the consulate was engaged in the “emergency conservation” of the building, which it was given two days to complete ahead of an FBI search on Saturday. She described the media reaction to the smoke as a “circus,” and suggested it was a product of “Russophobic hysteria.” An official statement from Zakharova issued by the ministry said the move to shut down and search both the consulate and the residences of employees and their families on the premises was a “gross violation of international law,” adding that it undermined efforts to increase cooperation between the countries. Credit: Twitter/Robert Humphrey via Storyful

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