San Bruno couple dies in blaze

Highland Drive residents Richard and Angela Dunbar died early Sunday morning in a two-alarm fire that destroyed their home, which was not equipped with any smoke detectors.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Medical examinations on both victims were scheduled for Sunday and today, Deputy Coroner Jesse Busalacchi said.

Richard Dunbar, who would have turned 75 this month, and Angela Dunbar, 73, were in their home at 3271 Highland Drive around midnight when the fire broke out. Fire crews arrived about 12:10 a.m. and discovered that there were still people in the house, Fire Chief Dan Voreyer said.

Firefighters pulled one of the Dunbars from a bedroom in the back of the two-story home, and the other from a room in front. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The front lawn of the home in this foggy, hillside community was littered Sunday with a burnt couch, chairs and carpet asson William Dunbar of Pacifica salvaged anything he could from the home, which sustained significant fire damage in the front and smoke damage throughout. The couple had lived there since 1959.

“They loved the neighborhood,” William said. “They’ve been here all those years in the fog belt.”

He described his parents as family-oriented and “very big into the American Legion.” Richard, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former Postmaster of Burlingame and Hillsborough, was the commander of the San Bruno chapter of the American Legion, William said. Richard often spoke up at City Council meetings on veterans affairs, San Bruno Councilman Jim Ruane said.

Richard was a big proponent of renaming a portion of Sneath Lane to Veterans Boulevard and of rededicating the 50-year-old War Memorial Recreation Center into the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center, Ruane said.

Angela, who worked in various jobs around the Peninsula, was in the American Legion Auxiliary and helped put flags in Golden Gate National Cemetery every Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

The couple was also involved in the Burlingame High School Alumni Association.

tramroop@examiner.com, dsmith@examiner.com

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