Fire burns down San Bruno California neighborhood

A massive explosion leading to a huge fire rocked the San Francisco Bay area city of San Bruno last night around 6:15pm. Original reports thought the incident was caused by an airplane crash landing in the neighborhood but was later determined to be a suspected natural gas leak. Water lines were also destroyed so emergency crews fighting the fire had to string water hoses from a long distance. The plumes of fire were seen at least 10 miles away.

The devastating fire leveled this neighborhood with 38 homes destroyed, numerous others damaged and three people have been confirmed dead. Burn victims were taken to local San Francisco Bay area hospitals. A few were later transferred to St. Francis Memorial, which has a specialized burn unit.

The people of this area are neighbors, friends, and also co-workers. A tragedy of this magnitude will not only affect the families involved, but everyone who knew them. It is important to seek help during this time if needed. Contacting the workplace human resource department is a good first step as many businesses may have onsite personnel available to talk with those who need counseling. If not, call a local community center, healthcare provider, or church to see if someone is on hand to talk.

An emergency shelter has been set up by the Red Cross at 251 City Parkway in San Bruno. Over 100 people have been affected by this disaster and have signed in at this location. An outpouring from the local community with food, water and clothing has been received. Financial donations are appreciated.

Requests for blood have gone out, especially O-negative. Contact the Blood Centers of the Pacific at 888-393-GIVE or visit their website for further information.

All San Bruno Park School District schools are closed today. However, Capuchino High School is open and personnel will be present to offer grief counseling if needed.

Residents of this neighborhood community have been requested to contact the city of San Bruno emergency hotline number at 650-616-7180 to check in. Family members and friends can go online to the Red Cross website to verify their loved one's safety.

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