Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Explosion, fire destroy California homes

After a massive explosion rocked a neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport on Thursday, flames consumed a residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. At least a dozen homes were destroyed by the intense blaze. Two people were reported injured.

Getty Images

After a massive explosion rocked a neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport on Thursday, flames consumed a residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. At least a dozen homes were destroyed by the intense blaze. Two people were reported injured.

SAN FRANCISCO — A huge explosion — possibly from a gas line — rocked the nearby suburb of San Bruno shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday, sending up a massive, smoky fireball seen for miles and igniting a blaze that gobbled up at least dozens of houses in a densely populated neighborhood.

The fire roared through a mostly residential neighborhood in the hills south of San Francisco. The explosion Thursday evening shot a fireball more than 1,000 feet into the air and sent frightened residents fleeing for safety, witnesses said.

The fire was burning in the town of San Bruno a few miles from San Francisco International Airport, prompting initial speculation that it was sparked by a plane crash. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency had no record of a crash. Spokesmen for local airports also said they knew of no missing planes.

Pacific Gas and Electric is looking into the possibility of a natural gas explosion but had no additional information, said spokesman J.D. Guidi.

Live footage on KPIX-TV showed at least a dozen homes destroyed, with flames reaching as high as 60 feet in the air as the fire fueled itself on the burning homes. Planes and helicopters flew over the neighborhood dumping water in an effort to stanch the flames.

One injured person was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and one to St. Francis Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan.

There was no immediate word on fatalities.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported late Thursday on its website that the fire quickly jumped from structure to structure as emergency crews rushed in and residents cleared out. The paper said residents heard rumbling before the blast

A local fire chief told an area television reporter he believed the fire was caused by a "high pressure gas line."

Sheriff's deputies and police were evacuating residents near the fireball. Firefighters went door to door, ordering people out of their houses and setting up equipment.

Drivers on nearby Interstate 280 and other roads near the area stopped to gawk as the relentless flames surge skyward.

Omar Naber and his mother, Lana Naber, were in their home when the house shook violently.

"I thought it was the biggest earthquake ever," he said.

He ran to the front door and tried to open it, but the door handle was too hot. He ran to his room, grabbed his car keys and fled the house with his mother. As they ran to the car, which was parked on the street, they could see a fireball. The heat was so intense, it burned the hair off his arms.

He said he believes the explosion hit perhaps the next street over.

Information from the San Francisco Chronicle and Associated Press were used in this report.

Explosion, fire destroy California homes 09/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays' Blake Snell erasing memories of his poor start

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — As Blake Snell strides up the mound at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night with an 10-game unbeaten streak, doesn't the miserable start to his sophomore season, when he was winless in eight starts and got demoted to Triple-A, seem like a long time ago?

    To him, too.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) in the dugout during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  2. St. Petersburg youth baseball concession stand vandalized

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — The early-morning phone call warned Charles Castle, president of Burg Baseball, to "expect the worst.'' The organization's concession stand had been vandalized.

     Cliff Williams, Vice President of the Burg Baseball Inc., St. Petersburg, looks at a damaged and trashed concession stand at the Lakewood Baseball Complex, home of the Burg Baseball. According to Williams someone vandalized the concession stand either Saturday or Sunday. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Tampa charter school teacher charged with firing handgun at ground

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa charter school teacher was arrested Sunday after she fired a gun into the ground during a dispute with her boyfriend, police said.

    Melody Patrice Bing, a teacher at the Village of Excellence Academy in Tampa, emerged from her home holding a weapon and dropped it when police confronted her at gunpoint. [Tampa Police Department]
  4. Tuesday's Nothing More concert moved from the State Theatre to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

    Blogs

    Nothing More was one of the highlights of April's 98 Rockfest, a thoroughly entertaining rock outfit with a larger-than-live stage presence.

    Nothing More performed at 98 Rockfest 2017 in Tampa.
  5. Buccaneers-Vikings Turning Point, Week 3: Overreaction vs. reality

    Bucs

    "None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we're going to play this season."

    Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs torched a porous Bucs secondary Sunday with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. [Getty Images]