San Francisco: Firefighters not permitted access to fire at Russian Consulate

Black smoke began rising from the Russian Consulate building in San Francisco, which US President Donald Trump ordered must be vacated by today. Firefighters dispatched to the scene encountered the Russian staff, who refused them access to the building.
The Russian Consulate in San Francisco Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Black smoke was seen rising yesterday (Friday) from the Russian Consulate in San Francisco. Firefighters dispatched to the scene were refused access to the building by the Russian staff, one day prior to the deadline ordered by US President Donald Trump to vacate the consulate building and two other diplomatic annexes.

The source of the smoke is unknown, although there is concern that the Russian staff began burning documents towards vacating the building. Witnesses said that they noticed employees from the building talking with firefighters, claiming that consulate did not need their services.

Trump and Putin Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

As reported earlier today by JOL, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry summoned a US diplomat in Moscow handing him a letter of protest concerning the US’s plan to search the soon-to-be closed Russian trade mission complex in Washington. The Russians asserted in the letter that this is “an illegal inspection of a diplomatic compound” calling the measure “an unprecedented aggressive and violent act.”

Yesterday, Russia promised a “harsh response” to the US’s order to shut down its diplomatic missions in San Francisco, Washington, and New York, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “We will harshly respond to these things that have landed on us out of nowhere,” Lavrov stated during an address to students at Russia’s top school for diplomacy broadcasted live on television. “It has hurt us and stems solely from the desire to undermine our relations with the US.”

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