A loud blast caused by an illegal firework prompted the evacuation of a building at San Francisco General Hospital on Thursday, marking the second large daytime police response to an incident in two days.
No one was injured Thursday afternoon, but police did discover an exploded M-80 in a fifth floor hallway in a building at the Potrero Avenue campus.
“We found the remnants of one extended M-80,” said Mission Station Capt. Dan Perea at the scene of what had initially been reported as a possible shooting. “There was not shooting incident at the hospital. We were fortunate to come here and find nothing.”
The incident unfolded around 1:40 p.m. at the hospital, located at 1001 Potrero Ave. Parts of the hospital were evacuated as police investigated reports of possible shots fired.
Thursday’s response blocked roads and traffic, similar to a standoff between an armed man and police in the mid-Market area Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, an hours-long standoff at Market and Jones streets left a man, who refused to take his hands from his pockets, hospitalized but in stable condition. A revolver was discovered in his pocket after the standoff ended. The man has not been named by authorities.
Perea said no suspect has been identified in Thursday’s case, and Pera suspects the M-80 is a remnant from the Fourth of July.
A patient and medical assistant who were in Building 80 at S.F. General described hearing an “explosion” and “large bang” before emergency personnel evacuated the area.
Harry Lloyd, 50, said he had an appointment on the seventh floor of Building 80 and was standing in a hallway when he heard the noise.
“It was just a big boom,” he said, adding that he believed it came from an elevator.
Lloyd left the building via the stairs as medical staff gathered others in a waiting room.
Meanwhile, 28-year-old Steve Schaff, a medical assistant, was on the fifth floor when he heard what sounded like a boom.
“We heard an explosion or some kind of large bang,” Schaff said.
Brent Andrew, a spokesperson for the hospital, said about 100 people were evacuated from Building 80, but the rest of the hospital facilities were not impacted.
“I can’t link this to any kind of pattern of security issues at the hospital,” he said after being asked about past issues around disappearing patients and purported lax security measures. Federally ordered changes were made at San Francisco General Hospital following the death of a patient who was found in a stairwell at the hospital in October 2013.