Mike Wilbur


Sep. 25—A runaway fire truck caused significant damage to cars, trees and signs on Hoffman Street in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood, the San Francisco Fire Department confirmed Saturday.

A vehicle from Firehouse 24 at the intersection of Hoffman and Alvarado streets was performing a morning check around 10:25 a.m. Friday when the air brake on the vehicle became dislodged, a spokesperson said. The truck rolled half a block and damaged six cars, which in turn damaged street signs and trees.

There were no reported injuries during the incident, the spokesperson said.

Owners of damaged cars posted anguished notes on their windows about the incident. “Hello Neighbors, our Prius was damaged by the runaway firetruck on Friday,” read one sign. “We are waiting for our insurance to tow the car. SF declined to tow the car.”

Another urged residents to respond. “The fire dept on the corner did this, and not offered any help at all. Call the city or DPW if you are upset about tree, etc.”

Fire officials addressed those criticisms Sunday, saying that crews contacted affected residents as well as San Francisco police. “Despite media reports, the crews spoke to SFPD and several property owners, which is standard in any vehicle-related collision,” spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Baxter told The Chronicle.

“The city has insurance and those affected will be assisted just as in any vehicle collision,” he said. “Police officers who investigate the collision contact property owners and vehicle owners do make attempts to contact owners and clean up debris.”

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