Smoke seen pouring from Russian consulate in San Francisco as it prepares to close

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Fire Department says acrid, black smoke seen coming from a chimney at the Russian consulate in San Francisco was apparently from a fire burning in a fireplace.

The smoke was seen billowing from the consulate building a day after the Trump administration ordered its closure.

Firefighters who arrived at the scene were not allowed to enter the building Friday.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talamadge says the department received a call about the smoke and sent a crew to investigate but determined the smoke was coming from the chimney.

An Associated Press reporter heard people who came from inside the building tell firefighters that there was no problem and that consulate staff were burning unidentified items in a fireplace.

Talmadge said she did not know what they were burning on a day when normally cool San Francisco temperatures were 95 degrees.

She said the fire "was not unintentional. They were burning something in their fireplace."