SF fire vehicles still helping snuff out blaze

Two vehicles from the San Francisco Fire Department were still assisting the ongoing firefight this morning at the scene of the San Bruno explosion and fire, according to a fire department spokeswoman.

The fire department still has one California Emergency Management Agency vehicle and one fuel truck at the scene of an explosion that destroyed dozens of homes and killed at least four people in San Bruno Thursday night, San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

Talmadge said the department originally dispatched an entire first-alarm assignment – which includes three fire engines, one truck, a battalion chief, a division chief, and a heavy rescue squad – at 6:52 p.m. to fight the inferno, which started at about 6:15 p.m.

Three engines and a chief officer were also dispatched from the San Francisco International Airport fire division, Talmadge said.

A “hose tender” rig carrying up to 5,000 feet of hose was also dispatched to the scene of the blaze at San Bruno Avenue and Skyline Boulevard, but it was never used, Talmadge said.

Though she couldn't confirm why the hose was never used, Talmadge said it might have been related to a compromised water main that made firefighting difficult over the course of the evening for all responding units.

“It seems like they had a lot of hose down there but couldn't use it,” she said. “That's so frustrating.”

Units from San Francisco began to be released at 7:40 p.m., Talmadge said. Most of the engines had been released from the disaster by the time the Cal-EMA vehicle was called for at 12:50 a.m., she said.

One San Francisco battalion chief was at the scene until 4:10 a.m., Talmadge said.

Nine cities in San Mateo County also dispatched vehicles to assist in the six-alarm fire, which sent flames as high as 80 feet through the ravaged residential neighborhood.

The ongoing fire was 75 percent contained as of this morning.

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