Crews stop gas flow through ruptured Oakland pipeline


One resident was frightened that this had the potential to be a big disaster.

"I asked him what was going on and he said it was a gas leak. And I said 'Oh my god, a gas leak.' And all I could think about was San Bruno. I just whipped a u-turn and argued to get back here. I live here with my 93-year-old mom is in this house. I'm getting her out of here," said nearby resident Doris Limbrick.

"Naturally everybody is going to think San Bruno, but right now we have everything under control," said Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Lisa Baker.

Firefighters say the San Bruno incident and this fire are completely different. The San Bruno line was a transmission line and had 400 pounds PSI; this is just a distribution line bringing gas to homes and only has 40-50 pounds PSI.

A leaky PG&E pipe was blamed for an explosion that destroyed a Cupertino condominium two years ago. A 2-inch plastic distribution pipe feeding smaller lines was fond to have more than half a dozen leaks. Officials at the nearby Holy Redeemer College said they were not concerned since it's at the far end of their property. Teachers, students and staff at Charles P. Howard Elementary on Fontaine Street were told to stay indoors, but were not evacuated.

PG&E described the system running through this neighborhood as a combination of both plastic and steel. Investigators are working to determine what ignited the blaze, the age of the damaged pipe and what caused it to spring a leak.

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