Gas explosion, fire prompt evacuations in San Francisco

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PG&E has successfully shut off a damaged gas line at the center of an explosion and fire that damaged five buildings and burned for hours in San Francisco. (KGO-TV)

PG&E has successfully shut off a damaged gas line at the center of an explosion and fire that damaged five buildings and burned for hours in San Francisco. No injuries have been reported and all workers in the area have been accounted for.

VIDEO: Audio captures terror after SF gas explosion

The fire was first reported at 1:18 p.m. and was under control exactly three hours later. 120 firefighters responded to the fire. 300 customers were without gas service due to the incident. 235 were without electricity. PG&E says it is working to restore service, but were going slow due to the "complex web of utilities" in the area.

Flames shot from a commercial building near the intersection of Parker Avenue and Geary Boulevard. A witness told ABC7 News that the fire was at the Hong Kong Lounge II, which was under construction.

RELATED: Get the latest stories, videos about PG&E here

Firefighters asked people to avoid the area and went door-to-door to evacuate residents in the vicinity. Streets in the area were closed to traffic, and would be shut down for at least four hours. Geary Boulevard will be closed overnight.


A reunification site has been established at Mel's Drive In at 3355 Geary Boulevard for anyone evacuated from the area due to the fire.

"I was going through an intersection and I heard a small explosion like something behind me, and I looked up and saw people in front of me just screaming and yelling, and I turned around at that point and I saw flames coming toward me. I actually thought it was a bomb for a second," witness Micheal Comstock said.

Five buildings were involved in the fire.

TIMELINE: Gas explosion, fire near Hong Kong Lounge II on Geary in San Francisco
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A terrifying explosion and fire took place in San Francisco's Jordan Park neighborhood on Wednesday.


Pacific Gas and Electric crews capped the leak around 3:35 p.m.

Fire crews rescued people from the buildings in the area while they waited for PG&E to stop the leak.

"PG&E is on scene trying to stop that gas leak, but until such time we've declared evacuations and checked every building around the perimeter for a one-block radius. There's nobody within the distance of the one-block radius. No injuries to report. There were eight workers right near the scene. They're all present and accounted for and no injuries at this time," San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.

VIDEO: Huge flames seen from gas explosion in SF
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Flames shot into the air following a possible gas explosion in San Francisco. Here's a look at video from the scene.



Fire officials said underground workers were doing excavation work underground to install fiber optic lines when the gas line was ruptured. PG&E says they were third-party workers.

Red Cross Bay Area is responding to the area with drinks and snacks for firefighters.

VIDEO: SKY7 footage of massive fire sparked by gas explosion in SF's Inner Richmond
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Here's a look from the sky of the massive fire consuming a building in San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood.



USF officials say the campus is open, but students and faculty members are being asked to stay away from the area of the fire.

No other details were immediately available.

Take a look at full coverage on the gas explosion and fire on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco.

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gas leakexplosionSFFDfirefightersevacuationGeary Gas Explosionfireu.s. & world
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