San Bruno explosion victims remain optimistic

September 30, 2010 12:24:21 PM PDT
Thursday will be the three-week anniversary of the San Bruno pipeline explosion and families are continuing to move forward.

Ted Guerrero told ABC7 he's noting that it will be three weeks tomorrow since he and his family lost their home in the San Bruno Explosion.

"It's been a fast three weeks," he said. "There's no playbook, no framework. It would have been really helpful if someone had said this has happened before to other people and here are the bullet points, the steps you need to follow."

Still, both he and his wife Maura praise the city's response and the community's generosity. The Guerrreros and their two children are now renting a house only about a block or so away from their old home.

The days have flown by because they are filled with to-do lists. Maura says she spends every day on little things from figuring out what to do about the cable, to re-ordering checks, to dealing with the insurance.

"We were able to order Social Security cards and for my children I was able to order birth certificates," she said. PG&E cuts us the initial check and they said it's like one of these no obligation things just to get you started. And then our homeowners' insurance, I called them the day it happened, I thought that's what I was supposed to do and so we've gotten a couple of checks from them."

The family plans to rebuild their home, but it has yet to be demolished. The county is doing demolition work on a few homes each day and hopes to complete the task within four weeks.

Officials have also compiled a list of verified, licensed contractors and architects and is working on a plan to expedite the permit process when homeowners are ready to rebuild.

"I think that overall we have been effective, but I think the key is maintaining contact with the property owners and being there for them when they need help," San Bruno Community Development Director Aaron Aknin said.

San Mateo County is ahead of schedule, but it is still slow going in terms of tearing down red-tagged homes. Thirty-one homes, including the Guerreros', have given permission for demolition and so far nine houses have been cleared away so far.


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