A semi truck crashed into Sullivan’s Funeral Home and Cremation Services and caught fire in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood early Thursday (May 15) after the truck’s hood went up and the driver lost control of the vehicle, according to police and other sources.
Authorities gave differing accounts of injuries but police said one person suffered a broken leg. One of the people who owns the funeral home, at 2254 Market Street, indicated damage to the business was minimal.
Sergeant Danielle Newman, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department, said in a summary that the truck was traveling westbound on Market at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday when the hood flew open “and the driver heard a bang.” He lost control and the truck crashed into the business, said Newman.
“The vehicle and the building caught on fire,” she said.
According to an email from Lieutenant Mindy Talmadge, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Fire Department, “the semi was fully involved with fire and the fire was spreading into the building” and a “second alarm assignment was requested.”
Talmadge said, “The fire was under control at 1:50 a.m.”
Officials offered differing accounts of injuries.
“Two patients were transported from the scene, one with life-threatening injuries, one with non-life-threatening injuries,” said Talmadge.
Newman said one of the men suffered a broken leg and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital.
In a brief interview, she said she didn’t have additional information, including whether the driver was tested for drugs or alcohol.
Jim Sullivan, 72, a co-owner of the funeral home, said at about 10 a.m. Market remained closed between 15th and Noe streets for “just half a block.” He said hazardous materials workers were “trying to clean up the fuel.”
Someone had been in the funeral home at the time of the incident but wasn’t harmed, said Sullivan.
“We have someone that lives here, but they were not injured,” he said. “They got out of the building. Everything is fine.”
Sullivan said by the time he arrived on the scene just before 2 a.m. the flames had been extinguished but the truck was “pretty well demolished.”
A call to Southwest Traders, the frozen yogurt trucking company whose vehicle was involved, wasn’t returned.
There hadn’t been any fire inside the business, said Sullivan. Damage included “several broken windows from the heat and several broken doors where the firemen had to get in” to check the building’s rafters, he said.
Sullivan said his business would remain open.
“As soon as I get the carpet cleaners in here today and the front door glass replaced, we’ll be in fine shape,” he said.
Neighboring businesses and an apartment house next door weren’t affected, according to Sullivan.
The damage to his funeral home was minimal, but he acknowledged the situation had been scary.
“We’ve been here for 90 years, and we’ve never had a problem like this,” he said.
Names of the businesses involved appeared in media reports and were not released by authorities.