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Live Press Conference and Update on San Bruno Gas Explosion and Fire

Aired September 10, 2010 - 10:54   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is. Chief Dennis Hague (ph) from the fire department, and our incident command leader last night. We have president Chris Johns from PG&E. We are joined today by Senator Leland Yee, Assemblymember Jerry Hill who represents this district as well. There's Jerry. And of course, one of my most important partners, Harold Brooks from the Red Cross, who is always out there doing a fantastic job.

As we closely monitored and responded with state and local assets to this fire, our lieutenant governor, Abel Maldonado, who is also acting governor in the absence of Governor Schwarzenegger, has been an important patter with this in leadership role. After we had the local state of emergency declared, we also declared a state of emergency by the state. Lieutenant governor and acting governor Maldano also directed me to reach to FEMA and ask for a federal management assistance grant because of the size and scope of this fire. And I am pleased to announce that last night, our important FEMA partners, Nancy Warden and Craig Fugate granted that, which will help us in the operational cost.

So, it's my pleasure now to introduce to you my friend and our partner, the lieutenant governor Able Maldonado.

ABLE MALDONANO, CALIFORNIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Good morning, everybody. As you know, Governor Schwarzenegger is in Asia this morning. I talked to him about 25 minutes ago and I've kept him on par of what's happening here in the city of San Bruno. And I asked him if he need anything for me to say. He said to thank the men and women who are on the front lines helping the people of San Bruno, so I'm here to do that.

And I also want to thank Mayor Dwayne. When I came here late last night, he was here, obviously with a sad face, because this is a horrific tragedy. Our hearts go out to those impacted by this horrible disaster. Without warning, many of these people's lives have been changed forever, and my deepest prayers go out to everyone.

We know that a natural gas line ruptured yesterday around 6:24 p.m., but we don't know what caused it or what happened. We will find out soon.

Here's what we do know right now. The fire has burned 15 acres in the city of San Bruno. It is 75 percent contained, 38 structures have been destroyed. Seven structures have been damaged. We have had 52 patients, three critical burned folks that have gone to the hospital with third-degree burns, four firefighters have been transferred to the hospital. Four people have been killed.

And we have one shelter at this moment open at the evacuation center with approximately 25 people as of this morning.

I want to say what we did last night. We deployed 67 pieces of fire apparatus, including 21 local fire engines, 18 Cal fire engines, and 20 Calima (ph) mutual aid engines, four air tankers, which were very, very important that were deployed immediately here to San Bruno. One helicopter. We deployed Doziers, and obviously, many water tenders. And this morning we have 12 canines on site.

Today, we are also deploying 30 more engines here to San Bruno. California Emergency Management Agency opened the Coastal Regional Emergency Operation Center and the state operation center in Sacramento last night.

FEMA approved a fire management assistance grant. We call it F- MAG; that will help pay for the fire fight. The city of San Bruno last evening proclaimed a local emergency, and right after the city proclaimed a local emergency, I with extraordinary impact of this disaster, declared the state of emergency last evening for those affected by opening the door to pay for firefighting and recovery.

I also want to thank the local volunteers, the Red Cross and everybody who has been here to help. I want to say a few words just briefly in Spanish on what we do know right now.