San Francisco Chronicle
A San Francisco firefighter was knocked unconscious and critically injured Monday while fighting a high-rise fire and officials are looking into whether a Muni bus that passed through the scene might have caused the accident, the fire department said.
The incident happened about 3:30 p.m., while firefighters were responding to a fire on the 19th floor of a building at 55 Spear Street, near the Embarcadero, SFFD Lt. Jonathan Baxter said.
The firefighter, Matt Vann, was on the street near a hose line when he was “inadvertently struck” by the line. Vann was knocked over and hit his head. He was briefly unconscious and not breathing, Baxter said.
Firefighters took Vann to San Francisco General Hospital.
Baxter said a Muni bus was traveling through the firefighting scene at the time of the accident, but declined to say whether the bus struck the hose. Officials are investigating the circumstances of the accident, he said.
At the time of the accident, Baxter said, San Francisco fire trucks were in the street with their lights flashing, indicating the road was meant to be closed.
Kristen Holland, an SFMTA spokesperson, said the transportation agency is cooperating with the San Francisco Police Department’s investigation. “We are also receiving regular updates from our partners at SFFD and share their concern and hope for the firefighter’s full recovery,” Holland said. No passengers were on the bus at the time of the accident.
The driver, who has worked with SFMTA for nearly six years, will be drug tested and put in a non-driving position until the investigation is completed, Holland said.
Vann, whom Baxter described as a “beloved member of our department,” remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday evening, Baxter said. He’s a six-year veteran of the department, stationed out of Fire Station 1 in the city’s SOMA neighborhood.
Michael Williams is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer
©2020 the San Francisco Chronicle