Warning: don't do this....

S.F. planning director's companion held on $1 million bail

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bail was set at $1 million today for the San Francisco planning director's companion, who is accused of setting fire to historic Nob Hill residence of the fire chief where the couple were living.

Lance Farber, 47, pleaded not guilty to felony arson and vandalism in a brief appearance at the Hall of Justice, shortly before Superior Court Judge John Conway set bail.

"I am concerned that this is a public safety issue," the judge said.

The Dennis T. Sullivan Memorial Fire Chief's Home, which honors a fire chief engineer killed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, was built in 1923 and is an official San Francisco landmark. The current chief, Joanne Hayes-White, is believed to be the first fire chief not to live in the house.

The home has occasionally been used during the Newsom administration as temporary housing for newly arrived city officials. Mayor Gavin Newsom's office said Monday that practice would end.

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