First-Responders Recall California Inferno

It’s been nearly a week since a massive explosion and fire rocked San Bruno, California.

Now, police and firefighters who were first on scene are telling their stories of what happened. From leaving back-to-school night, to baseball practices, each knew exactly what they needed to do when they got the news.

From CNN:

South San Francisco firefighter Anthony Ottoboni was at his son’s baseball practice when he got the news.

“My wife looked right at me and said, ‘Go.’ “

Capt. Bill Forester of the San Bruno Fire Department was on duty.

“We looked out the back door and saw a fireball,” he said.

John Priolo, also with the fire department, recalls rushing to work and seeing the “walking wounded” arrive at the station.

On Tuesday, first-responders gathered near the fire site to talk about the heroics of others, including citizens, last week. They spoke of the strong fraternity of the 400 firefighters, paramedics and police officers who thronged to the neighborhood.

They mentioned how their training prepared them, but there are some things training can’t foresee.

“Somebody said it was like they took a Saturn V rocket and tipped it upside down at the blastoff,” Forester said. The high-pitched roar of gas sounded like a jet engine, he added.

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