San Francisco (Obama.net)- One of the simplest elements known to man is fire. Since the beginning of time, fires have destroyed not only the environment, but they have also taken away the work of man and many of his constructions. Even in the history of the United States, fires have caused great damage. From the burning of Washington D.C. in 1812, to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, to the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco that led to numerous fires, to the countless wildfires we see yearly, fires have always ravaged America.
Thursday saw another terrible tragedy due to fire. A gas line erupted in San Bruno, California. The fire blew up homes and lit forty-five others on fire while taking the lives of four innocent people. 38 homes were completely destroyed, along with numerous vehicles. 52 people were also injured in the incident, three with third degree burns. All other residents of the area had been accounted for and no missing persons reports have been made as of yet.
Flames from the explosion were estimated to be 80 feet high and turned the normally calm neighborhood into a sea of fire. The taillights on cars about a mile from the explosion were melting due to the immense heat.
Many local residents described the scene as if it were a bombing. The ground crumbled above the explosion as some of the concrete was catapulted into the air.
Initial reports assumed that an aircraft had actually crashed into the neighborhood, but those rumors were quickly turned down.
Resident Judy Serresseque said that the explosion seemed like an earthquake at first, but she knew it was much more when she saw the fire outside her front door. She also said the fire was so “intense” that “you could hear the hiss” of the flames.
Pacific Gas & Electric officials are reporting that the line that erupted has been turned off and no gas is going through it.
The cause of the explosion just two miles west of the International Airport in San Francisco has yet to be determined.
PG&E officials have reported that they will make sure each home is safe to reenter before people can begin to come back to their homes. The company is also heavily investigating the cause of the burst.