Heroes Rescue Abandoned Elderly Women from San Bruno Fire Zone

It could have been one of the darkest chapters of last week’s tragic fire in San Bruno. Instead, it’s one of the most stirring acts of bravery and heroism. KCBS reporter Doug Sovern has the exclusive details in this KCBS Cover Story.

Sausage salesman Bob Petrini and his son raced into the Golden Era Senior Care Home to rescue six women, five of them in their 90’s, after their caretaker ran out in a panic moments after the explosion.

After hearing Doug Sovern’s report on KCBS, San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier wants to honor the Petrini’s and all other good Samaritans who helped save their neighbors that night.

”That’s an everyday hero,” said Tissier. “Those are people who go above and beyond at a time when you least expect something like this to happen.”

She says there will be some sort of formal public recognition ceremony.

As for the caregiver, the home’s owner, Arnold De Leon, still can’t believe she abandoned the women, one of whom was De Leon’s own mother.

”I think it’s a bad, insane thing to do for humanity’s sake,” said De Leon.

The county ombudsman is reviewing the case.

Tissier is alarmed that the woman wasn’t better trained, and with so many small, privately owned residential care homes in the area, she wants a broad investigation to make sure something truly tragic doesn’t happen the next time there’s an emergency.

”Rather than looking to penalize, look to see if in any of these care homes we’re truly preparing people for an emergency,” said Tissier.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Betty Sweetman

    Piss poor planning is what it is.

  • Betty Sweetman

    Officials were very shortsided in their planning for this kind of an emergency.

  • RF

    These home care sites should not be allowed to operate without proof of emergency plans. Anything could happen, earthquake, fire, burglary/invasion. These are people that are being housed here, not property. Special care needs to be taken. This story could have had a very tragic ending were in not for these good Samaritans. Kudos to their bravery and quick thinking.

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