Tuesday Really was Terrible or How I Adore our Firefighters

Yesterday, with tongue firmly in cheek, I made a post and called it Terrible Tuesday is Terrible. I was wrong. I was so very wrong. What I had to complain about was merely a headache. The day took a dramatic and possibly tragic turn. I was merely a bystander, for the most part. Lastech was at work on an odd day shift and the poor guy was left waiting for my updates.

Yesterday I was fighting some serious browser problems. I took a break and walked North a block to the post office. Then I walked back home. I had to walk past a construction site. They have been remodeling an apartment building for quite a while. Today, they were working on some pipes out front.

I had just posted my Terrible Tuesday pics when I felt a firm “whomp!” under my feet, followed almost instantly by the sound of screaming and the smell of smoke. I looked out the window to see people running past the apartment. I immediately went out to check and found that the construction site was in flames and a gas main was broken. It was only a few doors away. I got a few important papers ready to go and the cat carrier was out in case I had to evacuate. It didn’t come to that and we’re all fine.

The construction site that I had walked past, had ignited gas from a broken main. It was awful. Sadly, the construction worker who caught the brunt of the explosion is in critical condition. JBoD is keeping the worker and his family in our thoughts. The dental office next door was able to evacuate everyone. I talked to them. They said it was terrifying because the gas and flames were only a few feet from the door.

This wasn’t a huge gas line, but it was big enough. Also, as you’ll see from the pics below, the buildings in our city are separated only by an inch or two. As a result, instead of fighting fires from the outside, our brave firemen and women fight the fires from inside the building. A miracle happened and there were only a couple of minor injuries to our firefighters, thank goodness.

In all, I saw at least 8 (there were more) engines and ladder trucks. There were multiple rescue squads and ambulance crews. There were LOTS of police officers. I’m grateful to all of them. The damage was contained to two, maybe three buildings. I’m sure I’ll know more later and I’ll update then.

You can see a news report here. I should add that while the smoke doesn’t look that bad, it really was bad. The wind was really howling down our street. It was good in that it dispersed the leaking gas quickly. I normally despise wind, but I’m grateful to it today.

San Francisco gas explosion and fire on San Bruno Ave.
For perspective…we live in the building on the far right. The explosion was North of us, which is left, in the photo
San Francisco gas explosion and fire on San Bruno Ave
Firefighters in action. The tan and brown building on the far left is where the construction was. The dentist office was in the white building.
San Francisco gas explosion and fire on San Bruno Ave
That is the gas still venting. It took PG&E about two hours to get the gas shut off
San Francisco gas explosion and fire on San Bruno Ave
Firefighters…gotta love em
San Francisco gas explosion and fire on San Bruno Ave
The gas isn’t off yet, but the fire is under control.
San Francisco gas explosion and fire on San Bruno Ave
News crews. I managed to avoid them. Make no mistake. We have some fine news crews here. I just don’t want to be on the tv.

On June 2nd of last year, the city tragically lost two firefighters. I’m glad that today didn’t have the same results.

Also, on Sept. 9, 2010 there was a massive gas line explosion on the San Bruno pipeline. That occured a few miles South of us. It also happened on a San Bruno Ave. in the town of San Bruno. Ours was on San Bruno Ave. in San Francisco. Are you confused yet? I can add to the confusion. The line that blew up in San Bruno wasn’t involved today. However, it passes by our apartment about 100 ft (33.48 meters) to our South. I’m very comforted by that. Yes, that was heavy sarcasm.

Anyhow, with luck, I’ll have something more uplifting soon. I’m still feeling a bit somber at the moment.

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