Bay Area

Residents Want State to Learn From San Bruno Disaster

Peter Jon Shuler/KQED

Crestmoor resident Kathy DeRenzi

San Bruno residents and elected officials are urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign bills designed to prevent a repeat of the PG&E pipeline disaster that hit the community two years ago.
Kathy DeRenzi was in her home on Claremont Drive when she first heard the explosion and then saw the tower of flame just to the south.
“When I ran, I fell so hard in the street and I was so hot, that I thought that was it. I’m not going to make it,” she says.  “And my husband yelled at me, ‘Get up!’ And I ran.  I saw my son, I was running after him and I just kept going.”
DeRenzi and her family survived the blast.  Their home sustained heat damage, but was not destroyed.  Eight neighbors died, and many more lost their homes. 
Bill Magoolaghan has moved back into the neighborhood devastated by the 2009 blast and fire. 
“It’s too late for us, it’s too late for our neighborhood and it’s too late for our neighbors,” he says.  “But putting legislation like this in place is just in time to perhaps keep another neighborhood from having this type of disaster.”
Among the bills on Brown's desk is one that would require the state Public Utilities Commission to adopt recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board after the disaster.
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