Christmas comes to San Bruno Fire neighborhood

December 24, 2010 7:58:46 PM PST
In San Bruno neighborhood where a PG&E pipeline explosion destroyed 37 homes last September, this will be a Christmas much different from last year, or the ones before it. Plans to rebuild are moving along, but there is little consolation from a vacant landscape.

In a place once charred by flames there are 37 home sites where, four months later, only the numbers remain.

Even residents whose homes survived feel the burden. Try living across the street from the greening burnscape, as Bob Sherlock does.

"It's there, but I never get used to it. Sometimes I leave my blinds shut during the day," Sherlock said.

Locals have seen enough of the hole in the ground and enough of the now infamous natural gas pipe that killed eight of their neighbors

And yet, when the pipeline exploded, it really could have been worse. There had been a back to school night when the explosion happened. Many parents and their children had gone to it. Otherwise, they would have been here.

"If they had been home, there would have been more injuries," neighbor Bob McNichol said.

McNichol's house of 42 years survived the fire, but only by inches.

"I've got a pretty good appreciation for things I didn't before; every day is a good one," he said.

Every day, McNichol sees progress. In San Bruno, most people do, one way or another. For them, this is a season of moving on.


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