A massive fire is burning out of control in San Bruno this evening following an explosion, the San Mateo County Fire Department said. The fire started at about 6:15 p.m. at Skyline Boulevard and San Bruno Avenue, according to the battalion chief’s office. It’s unclear what caused the explosion that started the fire, but some residents have speculated a plane might have crashed. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said he was unaware of any planes going missing. Several houses have been engulfed in flames, the fire department said.
UPDATE: The San Mateo County coroner has confirmed at least one person died in tonight’s fire in San Bruno. “From the reports we have, we have at least one” fatality, coroner Robert Foucrault said.
UPDATE: More than a dozen homes have been engulfed in flames this evening and several people taken to local trauma centers after an explosion in San Bruno caused a massive fire to burn out of control. Authorities said 80-foot flames have spread from the initial burn site, which was reported at about 6:15 p.m. at Skyline Boulevard and San Bruno Avenue.
Witnesses believe the fire is being fueled by a gas leak, but a PG&E spokesman said it’s too early to confirm the source of the blaze. “I do know that gas and electric crews were called to the area,” spokesman J.D. Guidi said. The company is still looking into the situation, he said. “I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the tragedy,” Guidi said. Residents originally believed a plane had crashed in the area due to the sound and force of the explosion, but a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said he was unaware of any planes being unaccounted for. A fire ball erupted into the sky earlier this evening. “I heard rumble, rumble, rumble,” one resident said. “The whole house shook. After the rumbling, I heard a whomp sound, and that was it.”Traffic merging onto Interstate Highway 280 from the neighborhood
was almost at a stand-still tonight as residents loaded cars with pets and carrying cases and tried to leave the area.
Power appeared to be out in the neighborhood near the corner of Crestmoore Avenue and Trenton Drive as aircraft flew overhead. A giant plume of smoke could be seen coming over the hill from the north side and heading down the peninsula as far as the eye could see. One resident stood in her driveway and debated whether she should evacuate. She said some of her neighbors went down the street and saw cars burning. A spokeswoman for San Francisco General Hospital said two
patients, a man and a woman, were admitted in critical condition. Five victims were also brought to the Mills Health Center in San Mateo with minor burns, a hospital spokeswoman said. The majority of the burn patients appear to have been taken to the Kaiser Permanente, South San Francisco Medical Center.