SAN BRUNO, Calif. (KCBS) _ California emergency officials say 53 homes have been destroyed and at least 120 others have been damaged in a massive blast and fire in San Bruno Thursday night. At least three people are dead and 55 others have been injured.

In an emailed statement, Pacific Gas and Electric said that one of its gas lines ruptured in the Crestmoor neighborhood of San Bruno shortly after 6 p.m.

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The exact cause of the blast has not yet been determined. The company said it would “take accountability” if it was found to be responsible for the explosion.

Loud Explosion and Flames Erupt

Many witnesses and neighbors in the area heard what they called a loud explosion and saw a huge fireball shoot more than a thousand feet into the air.

KCBS listeners said they thought the explosion was so large that it might have been the result of a plane crash. One listener said she saw flames shoot from the ground during the explosion and then saw a continual wall of flames shoot off the field.

Many of those who evacuated their homes said there was also a large shaking, like in an earthquake. Most left with just the clothes that were on their back.

Numerous Injuries, at Least Three Dead

The coroner’s office has confirmed one death, although fire officials have told KCBS reporter Chris Filippi on the scene that at least two other bodies have been found in one of the burned homes.

Fire officials have not been able to go through all of the homes that have been damaged and are expected to continue their search Friday morning.

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At least 55 people have been taken to local hospitals, with several in critical condition.

Helping Residents

An evacuation center and two shelters have been set up for residents who have been affected by the blaze.

The Red Cross has set up the main shelter at the Veterans Memorial Recreations Center at City Park Way and Crystal Springs Road. Another has been set up at the Church of the Highlands on Monterey Drive.

More than 100 residents are being housed at the shelters.

An evacuation center has also been set up at the Bayhill Shopping Center.

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San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson is also asking that all residents from the area check-in to make sure that everyone is accounted for.

The city has set up a hotline for people to check-in. The number is (650) 616-7180. Residents can also check-in in person at the shelters.

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All San Bruno Park School District schools will be closed on Friday. Capuchino High School in San Bruno will be open.

Local blood centers are also calling for donations as they are expecting a supply shortage for fire victims.

Click here: Further emergency information

PG&E Prepared to Shoulder the Blame if Neccessary

Pacific Gas and Electric representatives say if the private energy company is found responsible for the disaster they will take accountability for it.

“All our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible situation,” said PG&E’s Jeff Smith.

Originally 5,000 customers in San Bruno and nearby areas lost electricity and gas, it’s unclear how many are still without power.

State and local officials plan to release new information about the fire at a news conference at 7 a.m., and KCBS will be there to cover it.

Comments (35)
  1. Michelle says:

    I just pulled into the driving range I heard an airplane overhead and then saw some guy taking a pic with his Iphone I looked behine me to see what he was tkaing a pic if and the hill exploded

  2. Paty Perez says:

    Is it a plane?

  3. Lynn Canale says:

    I live in the area. It sounds like a HUGE gas main that is on fire. There is a giant roar constantly. Power is out in the neighborhood.

  4. kyle mcguigan says:

    I live right down the street and I will confirm both my mom and cousin saw a plane fly overhead and we all heard an explosion! I drove up the street to find 2 blocks of houses on fire and smoke everywhere!!!!!!!!! Everyone is freaking out and evacuating the area!!!!! Please everyone pray for these people…

  5. Danielle says:

    OMG my husband works in that area he called me to inform me my prayers go out to those that are involved.

  6. Joe says:

    There are planes flying over San Bruno from SFO every 10 minutes or so all day long. The pictures on the video feed look like there is a lot of fuel going into that fire. I’m speculating that its a gas main explosion and the plane overhead is just a coincidence.

  7. Andre says:

    If you are wanting to find out information via police scanner feeds, go to this link and click on the two second to last links. One is Fire one is law. If you are not experienced with radio talk it takes a bit to get used to but give it a go. Prayers with everyone in the area

    1. Dorothy says:

      Thank you for posting this link to follow the fire traffic. I’m up in OR but used to live in the Bay Area. Am posting links and updates on my Facebook page, and praying for this community and the emergency responders.

  8. Carol rose says:

    Lost electricity in SSF near 280 about 30 min ago. Can hear/see what we think are tanker planes just to south/west of us. We’re mid way between 280 and Skyline just off Westborough.

  9. Joe says:

    It looks like its near the corner of Glenview and Claremont in San Bruno. It’s all residential there. There is no gas station even close.

    1. Mavis says:

      The 15 foot deep crater at Earl and Glenview is 400 feet from the gas station at Glenview and San Bruno Ave., I’d say that’s close

  10. Barbara Harper says:

    While driving home from work in SF I heard the beginning story unfold; continued listening on radio while driving south on 280. Saw massive smoke and huge orange flames off 280/380 – San Bruno area. Saw emergency fire crews from many cities heading north on 280 – possibly even as far as Cupertino?? Gas main or pipe line??? Continual prayers…

    1. Keil says:

      I’m in Mountain View and our local fire trucks took off a couple of hours ago. The pictures look horrible.

  11. Ted says:

    At 7:15 I was traveling on east 580 in Castro Valley and saw equipment traveling west. It looked like CDF from Sunol.

  12. Marta says:

    My prayers go out to all the families and the emergency personnel. May God protect all in this inferno.

  13. Whoopsie says:

    Michelle — so much for your plane story

    1. Chris says:

      Whoopsie I am sure it was a coincidence,.be kind to others, lets pray for the people that are hurt and have died in this fire.

    2. Ben says:

      It doesn’t matter whatever the peril was, let pray for this dramatic event and all the involved parties.

      1. Ben says:

        This is the indication that our world is close to the end. how could such thing happen to us? God please help, we need you.

  14. YY says:

    Feel so sorry for them…Is there any shelter for them to stay? Can we donate food, clothes, sleeping bags, etc. there? If anyone knows the info, please post here, thank you.

    1. Kath says:

      YY – the Red Cross in Burlingame can be contacted:
      1710 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010-4557
      (650) 259-1750
      They’re just a few miles away from this tragedy. The Red Cross has set up several shelters – also toll free American Red Cross at 1-888-443-5722

  15. Robert says:

    May the lord help them.
    God Bless

    1. Jay says:

      How frightening. I’m moved by the expressions of kindness and concerned voiced here – we always come together in times of disaster, don’t we? (I’m thinking too of our experiences in the Loma Prieta quake) I wish people in other parts of the country who disparage California could see the compassion and community we share.

    2. Ben says:

      God please help these people.

  16. Bill says:

    I just heard Dana on KCBS5 tell folks to visit to donate o-neg blood, but their web site is down.

  17. Cindy says:

    Walgreen have few stores and pharmacy open 24 hours at South San Franciso, and San Bruno location.

  18. Wayne says:

    Does anybody know the exact area/streets that are affected/burned? I have a co-worker who’s overseas and I know she lives on the 1600 block of Claremont.

    1. Michelle says:

      That block was right near the center of the explosion which was at claremont & glenview.

  19. Bill says:

    Looks like the house KCBS showed at ground zero near corner of Vermont and Claremont is less than 1/4 mile from the San Andreas fault. The USGS web site shows no quake recently on the Peninsula. Maybe gradual shifting over time caused a small leak to develop in a big underground pipe which got bigger and bigger until…

  20. Brucef says:

    From; Connecticut – My Prayers 2 Everyone – Real Sad !!! bf 5

  21. RMC says:

    To those suffering and in peril, all of us who are listening & watching, our prayers are with you. For those in despair, there is hope, not just the Red Cross, but Social Security and California state assistance. Social security benefits may be available for Survivors & dependents or Long-term Disabled victims of this tragic disaster. For more info: Social Security Administration 800-772-1213 and California Dept. of Human & Health Services (916)654-3454. We are wishing & praying for all of you.. Sending our love..

  22. Bevedine says:

    Please pray for City of San Bruno, all Officials, Residents and Family. I thank God for everyone who is pitching in right now, the Fire Fighters from all over and volunteers. Any idea where we can donate clothes for those in need?

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