American Morning

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September 10th, 2010
05:34 AM ET

Breaking: Blaze engulfs dozens of homes in California neighborhood

San Bruno, California (CNN) - Firefighters were still battling a deadly gas-fueled blaze Friday that engulfed dozens of homes and sent fireballs shooting into the air in this neighborhood near the San Francisco airport, emergency management officials said.

At least one person died in the fire, Kelly Huston of California Emergency Management said.

Local hospitals reported Thursday night that at least 28 people were being treated for injuries from the fire, some with critical burn injuries. The number of dead and injured was "likely to climb," Huston said.

At least 53 homes were severely damaged and up to 120 homes have some damage from the fast-moving fire, San Bruno Fire Chief Dennis Haag told reporters.

The fire was about 50 percent contained four hours after it began, he said. But the persistent flames had kept crews from searching the area for victims.

Firefighters had not yet been able to access the high-pressure gas line that appeared to be the source of an explosion that proceeded the blaze, he said.

City officials said they were trying to account for residents in the area. Haag said about 100 had evacuated to shelters.

Judy Serresseque, who evacuated with her husband after the blast, said it felt like an earthquake.

"The whole house shook, and I got up...and my living room filled with an organ glow. And when I went to my front door, I looked out and everything was just flames," said Judy Serresseque, who evacuated with her husband after the blast.

"The heat was intense, and you could hear it, you could hear the hiss," she said.

Bob Hensel said he had to open his garage door manually to escape the flames. The bumper of his wife's car melted as he drove away. Read more

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. chuck

    I fear there will be more sits like this, this morning you had a manb on who could set his water on fire well i think people fill they are just starting this kind of drilling but it has been going on here in PA for4 the last couple of years long before they came out with the great discovery of natural gas find. Here in northern Pa erie and crawford counties have been invaded with this drilling for the last 5 or 6 years and 4 years before they told the world of this great find under our state and let me tell you the problems they have made for our area like gas in our water the mess they make drilling, the pits of run off, the roads are torn up to the point you cant drive on them, the noise of the drilling along with the noise of the trucks running all of 24 hours a day, This by far is not what they crack it up to be, many have things to say about the bad why are we just hearing about it now

    September 13, 2010 at 6:47 am |
  2. Dan

    My heart goes out for those people in San Bruno. My prayers are with them.
    Look at where San Bruno is at. a suburb of San Francisco, the largest homosexual city in America. Maybe the almighty is trying to get the immoral attention of this ENTIRE nation.

    September 10, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  3. Coy

    Please stop the Quran burning story as your lead story. Making it a lead and hyped story puts our troops in danger.

    September 10, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  4. francnnam

    The Red Cross is helping coordinate shelter and assistance for people affected by the San Bruno Fire: 1-888-443-5722 / 888-4-HELP-BAY.

    September 10, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  5. cheryl

    It's too bad Pastor Jones is getting so much press. I am sure he has already acheived his goal. I can't help but wonder where we would be today had the press not fueled his desire forf all his pr. The press has certainly had this story and the end results what it will be tomorrow. A sad way to mourn the deaths of 911.

    September 10, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  6. Ralph Beach

    @Gas fire... My heart goes out to the people who lost thier homes and the people who lost their lives. I hope they are able to rebuild their homes quickly.
    To the people of the gas fire... "I will keep you in my prayers and in my heart!"

    @Quran Burning...Pastor Terry Jones needs to make up his mind about what he is going to do. I wish I could talk to him and confront him face to face. I believe that if I talk to him he may change his mind. Do you think I should talk to him?

    September 10, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  7. Wes Stillwagon

    PGE has a very bad record responding to or accepting responsibility for such disasters. I would bet the first people they called were their lawyers. I also would bet they are praying that Erin Brocovich isn't involved in the recovery.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:44 am |
  8. Rich Kennedy

    Terry Jones is obviously a lunatic, and as such is not responsible for his insane actions. American media's coverage of him is the height of irresponsibility. When retribution occurs and Americans are injured or killed, you must blame yourselves, not this brainless pastor.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:44 am |
  9. Average American

    Terry Jones is a nutcase. He and his "followers" should be totally disregarded in all their ramblings. When I see pictures of Jones I see an alcoholic windbag and think of past nutcases .. Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite. Every couple of years one of these freaks pop up and appear on the news.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:42 am |
  10. Mara

    Ok. We've seen the San Bruno fire. Where's the rest of the world news?

    September 10, 2010 at 6:24 am |
  11. Average American

    Good Morning CNN!

    Let's all hope the death toll doesn't rise in the San Bruno gas explosion but the smell of gas was report as early as three weeks ago and nothing was done to correct it? Full accountabilty for the death(s) of another human being by PGE? How would that happen?....

    September 10, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  12. kathie

    John, there are trans-continental pipelines which run in a corridor across the country and there are regular natural gas lines which run throughout almost every populated urban area in the country...including NYC...and connect directly to every house. That's probably why gas lines were close to the San Bruno homes.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  13. Jesse

    This is unbelievable. I hope the fire is stopped soon and that more people are okay.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:07 am |