San Bruno continues to heal 3 years after pipeline explosion


San Bruno residents just want their community to return to normal. But it may take a while and the past still haunts them. Now, Mayor Jim Ruane is renewing a fight that he says will ensure what happened there will never happen again.

The evening of Sept. 9, 2010, a Pacific Gas and Electric pipeline exploded, causing an enormous fire in the Crestmoor neighborhood. The blast destroyed an entire neighborhood physically and emotionally.

"Accidents happen. Everybody knows that. But after all of this investigative work over the last, almost three years, we're finding out that it could have been prevented," said Ruane.

Ruane says he'll continue pushing for stricter pipeline safety regulations and reforms at the state Public Utilities Commission, which he believes has too cozy a relationship with PG&E.

The mayor wants the utility to be fined almost $4 billion. That's more than the $2.25 billion that the CPUC wants to impose.

PG&E believes that figure is excessive saying it's already spent $2.5 billion on testing and upgrading its pipelines.

Today, the physical scars of the explosion are still visible. But the neighborhood is moving forward. Nearly half of the homes that were destroyed have been rebuilt. Of the homes that were badly damaged, almost all have been repaired. But the neighborhood is still in a state of transition.

"It's nice to see houses come back. It's also sad when you look around the neighborhood and you see that there are substantial numbers of properties that haven't been built on," said resident John McGlothlin.

The city will hold a memorial service here to mark the three year anniversary on Monday.

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