San Francisco FF injured in freak hoseline incident leaves hospital

Video shows Matt Vann being greeted by fellow firefighters outside the hospital as he leaves SF General for a rehabilitation facility

Update: Nov. 18, 11:20 p.m.: Firefighter Matthew Vann was transported to a rehabilitation center, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

The department tweeted a video of Vann being greeted by a large group of firefighters who cheered as he was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

Update: Nov. 12, 6:55 a.m.: Vann, who sustained a traumatic brain injury in the incident, has undergone two surgeries and remains in the ICU at San Francisco General, the firefighters union tweeted on Wednesday.

San Francisco Firefighters 798 union has launched a fundraiser through the SF Fire Credit Union. 

Update: Nov. 8, 7:50 p.m.: SFFD shared that although Vann remains in critical condition, he was able to follow a stimulus with his eyes on Sunday. 

Update: Nov. 4, 12:10 p.m.: An investigation is underway to review why a San Francisco Muni bus apparently drove onto a hoseline.

The man driving the bus was removed from driving status and will be drug-tested, which is standard procedure, KTVU reports.

Vann remains in critical condition. 

Update: Nov. 3, 7:32 a.m.: The SFFD tweeted, "Although our beloved brother Firefighter Matthew Vann temporarily regained altered consciousness, he remains in critical condition. Firefighter Vann has been employed since 2014, and is currently assigned to Engine 01. Please keep him and his family in your prayers."

Original report

Michael Williams
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco firefighter was knocked unconscious and critically injured Monday while fighting a high-rise blaze 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.

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. Email:


(c)2020 the San Francisco Chronicle

SFFD Local 798 tweeted about the dangers of driving through an incident scene.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2022 FireRescue1. All rights reserved.