San Bruno explosion and fire kills 6, destroys 53 homes

Full story: Santa Cruz Sentinel

A massive fire in San Bruno apparently sparked by a broken 24-inch natural gas main killed six people, critically injured two dozen and destroyed 53 homes in the hillside community.
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1 - 20 of 33 Comments Last updated Sep 11, 2010
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Windsor, CA

#1 Sep 10, 2010
I am not affiliated with the Red Cross. I just thought this link might be wanted by some people:

https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2...

This is for the local Red Cross chapter helping with emergency shelters for the displaced people.
Ex Liberal

Astatula, FL

#2 Sep 10, 2010
How very sad! Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by this horrible tragedy!
Westside Gal

San Francisco, CA

#3 Sep 10, 2010
I randomly happened to be driving south on the 101 past SFO / San Bruno as this was happening. I didn't see the first blast but was w/in eyesight by about 6:20, and I have never ever seen anything like it. The jets of fire shooting into the sky had to have been a couple hundred feet up (some of that may have been base elevation on the hillside)...at that point they had no idea what was going on...it was terrible. My heart goes out to the families there - I grew up on the peninsula and these were homes people had lived in for 50 years...so sad.
Getta Cloo

Friday Harbor, WA

#5 Sep 10, 2010
Hey, Reminder,

Be nice to ex liberal. He showed some compassion. Or somebody else is using his computer....
james

United States

#6 Sep 10, 2010
Leland Yee shows his continued incompetence in this situation.

He will probably be elected mayor of SF because they wont be able to find anyone with a history of such uselesness
Scotts Valley Propane

Hayward, CA

#7 Sep 10, 2010
Tank relocated next to highway 17. SV made big deal over an empty briefcase. Multiply by thousands of gallons of known flammable explosive material. Information on disaster planning, evacuation exercises at taxpayers expense, and costs not available to public. San Bruno had specialized units from SFO and Cal-fire from Morgan hill, plane and helicopter drops, and only 50% contained this morning. Do you think 17 and Scotts Valley will have adequate response in similar scenario in SV? Prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, overriding the planning department negative recommendation violated the basic premise of distance from other properties.
Wescruz

Santa Cruz, CA

#8 Sep 10, 2010
Can private citizens sue a utility?
P.G. & E. could be in litigation for years if so.
John

Berkeley, CA

#10 Sep 10, 2010
Scotts Valley Propane wrote:
Tank relocated next to highway 17. SV made big deal over an empty briefcase. Multiply by thousands of gallons of known flammable explosive material. Information on disaster planning, evacuation exercises at taxpayers expense, and costs not available to public. San Bruno had specialized units from SFO and Cal-fire from Morgan hill, plane and helicopter drops, and only 50% contained this morning. Do you think 17 and Scotts Valley will have adequate response in similar scenario in SV? Prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, overriding the planning department negative recommendation violated the basic premise of distance from other properties.
I see your point but you are mostly comparing apples to oranges. We all do what we can to mitigate dangers, but they can never be eliminated entirely.
Scotts Valley Propane

Hayward, CA

#11 Sep 10, 2010
Natural Gas:
&fe ature=featured
Propane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Apples and Oranges?

"I see your point but you are mostly comparing apples to oranges. We all do what we can to mitigate dangers, but they can never be eliminated entirely."

Read comments on slideshow article.
Note the "authorities" claim differences, but fail to address standard planning and exercises utilized when these facilities are located adjacent to personnel, whether industrial, or residential.
mr jones

San Francisco, CA

#12 Sep 10, 2010
How about comments from those who think firefighters are paid too much or retire too soon or have too much of a secure retirement? How many of you are rushng up to San Mateo to put out these fires?
Sure about that

Hayward, CA

#13 Sep 10, 2010
By increasing the risk you build rational for increasing numbers of safety personnel required to handle problems down the road. You do not need child care if you do not get pregnant.
John wrote:
<quoted text>
I see your point but you are mostly comparing apples to oranges. We all do what we can to mitigate dangers, but they can never be eliminated entirely.
Huh

Los Angeles, CA

#14 Sep 10, 2010
Normal and a very good move to declare a trajedy such as this a crime scene. It allows the police to keep the huge number of professional looky-lous (reporters) from clogging up and impeding the rescue and recovery efforts, and the subsequent preliminary investigation. It keeps the hideous number of news reporters at bay for a few hours who congregate to find a good shot of death, dismemberment and carnage to try to capture higher viewer ratings as they compete with the dwindling number of broadcast viewers!
Birdiechick

Santa Cruz, CA

#15 Sep 10, 2010
mr jones wrote:
How about comments from those who think firefighters are paid too much or retire too soon or have too much of a secure retirement? How many of you are rushng up to San Mateo to put out these fires?
Amen Mr. Jones...FF's worth every penny!
I am not crazy

Santa Cruz, CA

#16 Sep 10, 2010
But I wonder if that neighborhood had any SmartMeters?
Probably not related, but in some of the stuff people have been saying about SmartMeters, there have been allegations of fires started by the devices.
I am not crazy

Santa Cruz, CA

#17 Sep 10, 2010
Just looked it up on the PG&E website-there have been 28,880 Smart Meters installed in San Bruno, 44,916 in South San Francisco.

Any people out there who know how the grid works? Is it possible that one of those things could have contributed to a 60 year old pipe bursting?

Just wondering cause my neighborhood is more than 60 years old.
marxistrevolutio nary

Austin, TX

#18 Sep 10, 2010
the normal operation of the capitalist profit system in its death agony looks like the result of terrorist attack
Age of equipment

Hayward, CA

#19 Sep 10, 2010
on poles more likely to cause problems than meters. The upper most wires carry the highest voltage (12k for ex.). That voltage is dropped by transformer to lower house supply voltage 240/120 volts that comes down the drop into the house mast into the meter socket. The meter socket connect the plugin blades of the meter. Unless there is a bad connection, resistance, that causes heating or arcing, no problem. If there was a high voltage surge by bad transformer allowing the high voltage into the house, that is grounded to the waterpipes and bonded to the gas line, then damage to the gas line could occur. That would be closer to the house circuits searching for the path of least resistance. The gas feeds to the houses are all low pressure. separate, downstream from the high pressure pipe by reducers and underground pipes that should "ground" (absorb) the surge into the soil before it gets too far along the pipe. However this is a very large pipe, and there are some larger power lines in that areas. But getting the two together is a stretch, compared to aging pipes and corrosion or damage causing leakage/failure.
But if a live transmission line were broken to fall upon an above ground pipeline then more feasible that arcing to pipeline could burn thru. But this pipeline was underground. I saw no visible underground electrical service vaults near the crater.
The higher voltage that does the damage is normally isolated by the equipment on the poles.(or underground)
I am not crazy wrote:
Just looked it up on the PG&E website-there have been 28,880 Smart Meters installed in San Bruno, 44,916 in South San Francisco.
Any people out there who know how the grid works? Is it possible that one of those things could have contributed to a 60 year old pipe bursting?
Just wondering cause my neighborhood is more than 60 years old.
Had to work

Hayward, CA

#20 Sep 10, 2010
instead of being paid to sleep. bummer.
mr jones wrote:
How about comments from those who think firefighters are paid too much or retire too soon or have too much of a secure retirement? How many of you are rushng up to San Mateo to put out these fires?
At what cost

Hayward, CA

#21 Sep 10, 2010
to taxpayers? On the surface, sounds reasonable. But once the danger is reduced to normal, ie gas, and electricity off, it only benefits the cops sitting around telling homeowners they cannot return to homes that are undamaged. My father still talks of the screwed up evacuations of the Station Fire, and subsequent rains. Walks down street, and cops sleeping in car. Block after Block. Homeowners prevented from returning to homes undamaged and not at risk.
Explain where the police get authority to keep looky loos off of public streets. Do you mean people of color? forty years ago you used that term, now its looky loos. Is rescue and recovery going on in all the areas originally cordoned off? 70 feet away from a hill overlooking damage area, cops excluding homeowners from looking down to see if their homes destroyed. I thinks you want the authority, and power, more than protecting the public who pays.
Huh wrote:
Normal and a very good move to declare a trajedy such as this a crime scene. It allows the police to keep the huge number of professional looky-lous (reporters) from clogging up and impeding the rescue and recovery efforts, and the subsequent preliminary investigation. It keeps the hideous number of news reporters at bay for a few hours who congregate to find a good shot of death, dismemberment and carnage to try to capture higher viewer ratings as they compete with the dwindling number of broadcast viewers!
John

Berkeley, CA

#23 Sep 10, 2010
Had to work wrote:
instead of being paid to sleep. bummer. <quoted text>
So....which one are you? Beavis or B-u-t-t-head?

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