Thu, 16 Sep 2010|
Firefighters describe their response to the fatal explosion and fire in San Bruno California.
[MUSIC] Good afternoon. My name is Neil Telford. I'm the chief of police for the city of San Bruno and with me today is fire, fire chief Dennis Hauge. Behind you, you have fire fighters and police officers from all San Mateo county. They're gonna come up in a little bit and give you their stories and their perspective on this tragic event. I think it's really critical to realize that there were over 200 firefighters and 200 police officers responding to this scene. >> We were dispatched along with Engine 51 and Engine 52 from our own department as well as the balance of the full first alarm assignment. For an explosion that afternoon. And in fact as soon as the tones went off at the station, we heard a lady's voice downstairs screaming who had stopped into our station that something was wrong. We looked out the back door and we could see a fire ball and smoke up here in the neighborhood. We weren't sure exactly where it was, we thought it might be near skyline college. Is basically. We have got a whole neighborhood on fire, and we have got incredible heat and fire. Many homes are burning. >> I saw on the news that there were a fire in our city, and it was actually in my back door out of my fire station so responded from home and a followed chp officers that were responding to this event. They made it to our fire station, which is up on a row. When I arrived there, my captain Don Epperson was on, actually at the firehouse waiting. And we had walking wounded going into our fire station. >> I was off duty at the time, I was at my son's baseball practice. When my wife and I saw the explosion, and I turned to her and she looked right at me and she said go. And I told her I'd call her when I could. We were trying to keep the, fire at bay as best as possible, but as you may have heard earlier, our water was unavailable. The water mains in that area had been taken out, so, through engine 61, engine 71 and engine 81, we were able to, to, lay about. 3 to 4000 feet of supply line up over sea plane and get a water supply which then allowed us to make a stand and stop the fire, what we did. >> I think one of the things we noted is the reason why we feel distinct when is loss of [UNKNOWN] is because of the [UNKNOWN] of multi agencies that we work as a [UNKNOWN] we work which. Trained as a county and we've been doing that since 1998 though we're all individual cities. We have the opportunity to train together on a regular basis for a long period of time. >> I can't say enough for working with such a great group of people. Lieutenants, Chiefs, Captains, and everybody else from every different agency showed up here to [UNKNOWN] assistance and form a command post in order to delegate officers to work this area to the best way possible. >> Hello this is Bobby Halton and we're on scene in San Bruno California, and behind me you can see the devastation. From the gasoline explosion which occurred several days ago. We just came back from a press conference where several of the firefighters told their stories. Compelling tales of heroism challenges they faced with lack of water supply and several other major issues. As you can see behind me this was quite an explosion. Great deal od devastation. We know that thirty seven homes are completely destroyed another eighty had substantial damage. And about 120 or so they said were involved in some way. So, right now, we're capturing the story of these firefighters did a tremendous job, tremendous challenges, great mutual aid, just can't say enough about the fantastic job that all the firefighters here did. And the law enforcement officers. This was truly a community that came together, had a really devastating event. And the best and the brightest and the most talented officers and firefighters that anyone could hope for were able to pull together and do a job of unbelievable effectiveness and, and just, you can't say enough about them. This was really California at its finest [MUSIC]