Tenderloin back to life after vault fire

June 7, 2009 6:18:19 PM PDT
A San Francisco neighborhood is beginning to come back to life after Friday's underground vault fire. Power for the 9,000 customers who lost it Friday was back on Saturday night, but several streets are still closed and the night life there is taking a big hit.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you from ABC7 News

The show almost did not go on at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco Saturday night. Promoters did a lot of pacing as they debated whether to cancel the Kim Nally concert. They were waiting for PG&E to turn the power back on.

RAW VIDEO: Firefighters battle underground explosion
ABC7 EXTRA: PG&E on SF vault explosion
SLIDESHOW: SF underground explosion

"We all thought, we're going to go for it. We're going to think positive. It's going to happen. It's going to happen. They told us power at 4, power at 5, power at 5:30, and power at 6:00 it was," said Dennis Juarez laughingly.

The power went out for 8,600 customers at 11:30 Friday morning after PG&E equipment caught fire underground at Polk and O'Farrell Streets. While crews try to figure out what happened, a section of Polk and O'Farrell are closed. So, even though the concert went on it was tough for the audience to get there on time.

"When you're trying to get some place downtown at 8:00 on a Saturday night, you're not expecting a major artery to be cut off like this," said Diane Clarkson.

The Bread and Butter Cafe was also in the dark until 6:00 Saturday night. The owner told ABC7 the outage cost him thousands of dollars and he has already been hit hard by the economy.

"I don't think we're going to open tonight because we have to fix a lot of stuff inside and throw out a lot of the food we have. Some of the other stuff gone bad like milk and ice cream and stuff," said Juarez.

The AMC movie theatre on Van Ness was a little luckier. Their lights came back on at about 2:00 p.m. Saturday. But, the theatre, the concert hall, and nearby restaurants all lost money Friday night as they sat empty in the dark. Mitchell Brothers Theatre is still closed, much to the dismay of its customers.

"It's hell on everybody. The staff loses out. The patrons lose out. The bands lose out. Everybody does. But, there was nothing we could do about it," said Juarez.

PG&E officials say they do not know why there was a fire because they have not even started their investigation. They are still trying to assess whether it is safe for their crews. They have no idea when the streets will reopen.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments