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Four Dead, 38 Homes Destroyed in San Bruno Gas Explosion

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San Bruno, CAA deadly gas explosion that decimated several residential streets in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno Thursday evening has left four people dead and experts are warning the death toll could climb.

span itemprop="image" itemscope itemtype="" style="display:block">Firefighters and rescue workers have searched roughly 75 percent of the 38 homes that were destroyed and surrounding areas, but 25 percent of the site remains unchecked because hot embers are making it impossible to work. "Some residences remain too hot to enter," San Bruno Fire Chief Dennis Haag told members of the press today. He added that dozens of homes have suffered less severe damage from the fire which affected 15 acres.

The gas explosion is believed to have been caused by defective natural gas pipeline running underneath the neighborhood. Residents had complained of natural gas smell for weeks. At a press conference Friday, PG&E President Chris Johns said that the utility is looking into reports and will go over their records from the phone calls about the complaints.

California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado said area hospitals had taken in 52 patients. Eight people were in critical condition. Emergency room personnel also treated four firefighters, he told NBC News.

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