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Friday, September 10, 2010

San Bruno Fire: Body Count, Assessment Under Way

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge SKY1RON
As a large chunk of San Bruno smolders this morning, authorities are beginning the grim task of damage assessment. Numbers are almost certain to go higher, but half a dozen people are reported dead and 55 have been injured by an explosion and fire that engulfed an entire neighborhood after a subterranean PG&E pipe ruptured and, yesterday at 6:15  p.m., ignited.

The explosion took place at the intersection of Sneath Lane and Sequoia Avenue; 120 homes have been destroyed and the fire is still only 50 to 75 percent contained. Here's a before-and-after look at that neighborhood from above:

School is canceled today in San Bruno and area residents are encouraged to call (650) 616-7180 so rescue officials don't waste time and energy searching for the living. The aforementioned body count, meanwhile, is all but certain to rise as emergency personnel enter charred homes.

The initial damage assessment of tangible goods -- namely people's homes -- is pegged in the tens of millions of dollars. That, too, could go higher -- and surely will when municipal property is added in. 

Update, 7:59 a.m.: Acting Gov. Abel Maldonado -- speaking bilingually at a press conference at this moment -- read of a list of personnel and apparatuses on the scene. Among those: 12 dogs. That, certainly, portends to a coming search for more victims of the blaze. 

click to enlarge The view of the San Bruno fire from Mclaren Park, just 15 minutes after the explosion
  • The view of the San Bruno fire from Mclaren Park, just 15 minutes after the explosion

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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