The owners of Forever Yours Florist were devastated when a car crash gutted their business and left the shop closed indefinitely.
Because the damage was so severe, owners Hamid and Dana Emami weren't sure what was going to happen to the small flower shop they had been nurturing for nearly the last two decades.
"At first, we weren't sure whether we would have to relocate, we weren't sure if our insurance would cover it, and we weren't sure what the landlord was going to do," Dana Emami said. "Everything was very much up in the air."
Eight months later, the Emamis have managed to re-open the flower shop—sans the cafe—and they are steadily trying to make a comeback after they lost so much time and money because of the accident.
Forever Yours still looks the same on the outside and inside, but the Emamis said it took a long time to rebuild because they had to weigh their financial options.
Although it has been a struggle over the last several weeks since the shop opened its doors again, the husband-and-wife team said they're just happy that no one was injured in the accident and that they can get back to what they're passionate about: the flower business.
Just before 8 p.m. on Jan. 13, Friday the 13th to be exact, Hamid had just closed down the shop and left for the day when a driver in a town car was seen speeding down El Camino Real. The driver crashed into several parked vehicles and then careened into the front of the shop, igniting a fire.
According to an amateur YouTube video taken of the accident, emergency personnel made several attempts to persuade the driver to get out of the car as the building was engulfed in flames and black smoke. But the driver was hesitant at first.
"Get out of the car," they yelled amid the chaos. "You're not in trouble."
Miraculously, the driver walked out of the building seemingly unhurt.
The driver, 26-year-old Sean Hernandez of Pacifica, was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said. It is not known whether Hernandez was formally charged with anything.
To this day, the Emamis still don't know what exactly happened or what happened to Hernandez.
Dana said she's just glad that Hamid didn't go back to the shop that night like he had planned. He was on his way to pick up some milk for the cafe's refrigerator but changed his mind because he wanted to go home instead.
"If he would have got (the milk), he would have come back at the time of the accident and he wouldn't have made it," Dana said.
Now, they're starting to see many of their customers come back, and that brings them hope that Forever Yours will still have a future in San Bruno.
"A lot of them were saying, 'I've been trying to buy flowers and I had to go somewhere else,' when we were rebuilding," Hamid said. "I'm hoping that as everybody finds out more, they'll come back."