Reflecting on the San Bruno Fire, One Year Later

San Bruno Patch will explore the lives of Crestmoor residents one year after the Sept. 9 pipeline explosion changed the neighborhood, and the city.

I remember the explosion like it was yesterday.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who says that these days.

While I didn’t live in the Crestmoor neighborhood and the chaos of the Sept. 9 fire, I saw it unfold before my eyes and did my best to report on the developing disaster—with the help of my Patch colleagues and community support.

This Patch site wasn’t even two weeks old at the time. So San Bruno Patch, in essence, got its true start covering the disaster. The explosion is now part of the site’s history—just as it is forever a part of the city’s history.

Over the year since that September tragedy, which left eight people dead and 38 homes destroyed, we’ve all learned more about gas pipelines than we probably ever wanted to know.

We’ve witnessed the ineptitude of PG&E, which owned the pipeline that exploded in the neighborhood and which bears responsibility for the blast as a result of poor oversight and systemic problems, the in its report last week. We’ve also witnessed some of the explosion's aftermath.

But we’ve also seen some extraordinary resiliency among residents and a resolve to lift up the community from the City with a Heart.

This is why we are running a series of stories this week, called The San Bruno Fire: One Year Later, leading up to the one-year anniversary of the fire.

Starting Tuesday, you will see stories from Patch and The Huffington Post not about promises from officials or political grandstanding, but about the people affected most by this historic tragedy: the residents of the Crestmoor neighborhood.

You will see stories about residents who have rebuilt or repaired their homes and who have already moved on. At the same time, you will read stories about those who are still struggling to cope or who have been left behind on the road to recovery. You will also hear the voices of young people who took the disaster to heart and have come out of the fire with a new outlook on life and a stronger appreciation for the city they grew up in.

One year later, there is no single story on how San Bruno has recovered from the fire or whether it will ever feel fully restored. But everyone’s experiences combined are now the reality that will define the Crestmoor neighborhood.

All this week, San Bruno Patch looks back at Sept. 9, 2010, and talks with people affected about their lives in the past year.

Monday: One Year Later
Tuesday: Struggling To Go Forward
Wednesday: Rebuilding, Recovering
Thursday: Learning What's Important
Friday: Supporting One Another, Little Help for Renters
Saturday: In Memoriam

As you experience the stories, we invite you to share your thoughts in the comments and on the Facebook page we created for this series, which will provide a special place to talk about the one-year anniversary, view past stories and check out photos and videos from Patch and our readers. 

Maria September 05, 2011 at 04:04 PM
God bless all those people who were directly affected by the fire and all their families and friends.


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