With the San Bruno fire under control, authorities are stepping in to help residents pick up the pieces and try to restore some normalcy to their lives. There is no precise casualty count yet, and it will be late Friday before the police and fire departments can comb the area to determine the impact of the fire.
What we do know so far is that there were at least four confirmed deaths and at least 52 injured following the explosion of the PG&E gas line. Originally, reports claimed that there were six casualties. Similarly, the number of homes destroyed in the fire has been reduced from 53 to 38, though an additional seven homes suffered severe damage.
Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado has declared a state of emergency, and will address the public about the incident later today. Maldonado is filling in for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is currently overseas.
The Red Cross reports that there were outpourings of support from the local community, with local businesses providing beverages and pizza to people who fled their homes and found safety in two local shelters. The Red Cross is now saying that it has no need for donations of food, blankets, and clothing, and that it would prefer that people who want to help donate money instead to the Red Cross website. People who do wish to donate supplies can contact the San Bruno Recreation Center at 251 City Pary Way in San Bruno. Volunteers there say that they need blankets, towels, diapers, shoes, and children’s clothing.
Also needed are donations of blood, particularly of Type O Negative, though all blood types are accepted. These can be donated at any of fourteen Blood Centers of the Pacific locations throughout Northern California. For more information, call 1-888-393-GIVE. Blood is also being collected at the Stanford Blood Center.
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