San Bruno family moves into dream home

January 20, 2012 8:12:46 PM PST
A San Bruno family is returning home tomorrow, 16 months after that deadly pipeline explosion devastated their neighborhood. They're not returning to their old, small house, but to their brand new dream home.

"So this is the family room. We're short of furniture, the sofas are a little bit small, but were ready for the football game on Sunday," saiid Bill Magoolahan.

Bill calls tomorrow a milestone in the healing process for his family. Their old one-story home had extensive smoke and water damage. They decided to tear it down and build their dream home -- a five-bedroom house that's big enough to accommodate four growing children. The Magoolaghans added 900 square feet and a second floor.

"We needed more space and this was a good opportunity since the roof had to come off and the walls had to come down," said Bill.

It's been a long and difficult 16 months since the explosion forced them out. They've all gone through therapy, and living out of suitcases has been tough.

"We had to move into another house. The kids lost all their toys. They lost all their clothes," said Bill. "They lost all the things that kind of gave them their identity, which made it a real challenge."

They've watched their new home being built little by little. Bill and Betti took extra steps to make sure their kids would be comfortable.

"We wanted to change the house dramatically so they weren't having their old memories of running from the house scared," said Bill. "They all were here when it blew up. they all ran out down the block barefoot screaming."

Their new house is very much a symbol of hope in a neighborhood that lost homes and lives.

"We want to be back here. We want to see the rest of the houses go up. We want to be part of the neighborhood rebuilding," said Bill. "It's really important to our family to come back, to make a statement, to say we've survived this, we're OK and we're going to move forward and we're going to move forward with the neighborhood."

The Magoolaghans say they're excited to be back home, but they're also angry at PG&E. They're one of many homeowners suing the utility company.