Chinese Consulate arsonist sentenced 35 months in prison

A man who confessed to setting a fire to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on New Year’s Day almost three years ago was sentenced Wednesday to 35 months in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Yan Feng, 42, of Daly City has been in custody since Jan. 3, 2014.

He confessed to the fire that day.

Feng entered a guilty plea to one felony count of “offering violence to a foreign official” on Sept. 14 of this year.

An affidavit in the case said that allegedly Feng told federal agents that he was hearing voices in Chinese and the consulate, located at 1450 Laguna St., “had to have been involved.” FBI Agent Michael Eldridge wrote in the affidavit that Feng placed three containers of gasoline near the front entrance of the consulate and poured gas on the front door and front steps.

Then he allegedly tried to start a fire by burning his passport, Eldridge wrote. When that failed, he used a lighter to light one of the containers of gas on fire, sending up “a large fireball” at 9:32 p.m., according to Eldridge.

No one was injured, but the fire did substantial damage, the agent said.

Feng will serve three years of supervised release after his prison term is up.