4. Set-up of San Bruno Fire Chief, Dennis Haag, surrounded by media
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dennis Haag, San Bruno Fire Chief:
"It looked like a broken gas line - high pressure gas line - none of this can be confirmed, we still need to get to the scene of the origin of the fire. We've got 53 homes have been severely damaged, up to 120 homes have some fire damage. We have only one firm fatality, confirmed fatality, it's going to take us until at least tomorrow into the afternoon to do a full search."
6. Wide of evacuated residents at Red Cross shelter
7. People drinking water
8. Various of houses on fire
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Paul Foster, Evacuated San Bruno resident:
"The fire crews were just beginning to arrive, and probably for about a block and a half away, I could see a humongous orange fireball that appeared to be coming out of the middle of the street."
10. Fire fighters battling fire
11. Cars on fire
12. Pan of fire engines
13. Various of smoke and flames around home
14. Helicopter dropping water on fire
15. SOUNDBITE: (English) Bennett Bibel, San Bruno resident:
"I got a phone call and said they were huge flames in San Bruno, I drove, went up the Bay Hill shopping centre, saw huge flames shooting in the air, walked up from there. This is far as I can get and it's pure speculation on my part as to whether or not the home is burnt, can't get any information from anybody."
A huge explosion sent flames roaring through a neighbourhood in the hills south of San Francisco on Thursday, destroying more than 50 homes and leaving at least one person dead.
The utility company that serves the San Francisco Bay area said one of its gas lines ruptured in the vicinity of the blast, which left a giant crater and sent flames tearing across several suburban blocks in San Bruno.
"If it is ultimately determined that we were responsible for the cause of the incident, we will take accountability," Pacific Gas and Electric Company said in an e-mailed statement.
Victims with serious burns began arriving at San Francisco Bay area hospitals shortly after the blast.
An estimate of the number of injured wasn't immediately available.
Hospitals reported receiving about 20 injured patients - several of whom were in critical condition - and they anticipated getting more.
Flames incinerated 53 homes and damaged 120 as crews continued battling the blaze into the night.
At least one person was confirmed dead in the blast, according to the San Bruno Fire Chief.
The fire had spread to 10 acres (four hectares) and was 50 percent contained late on Thursday, according to a spokesman for the California
Emergency Management Agency.
Between 150 and 200 firefighters were at the scene, the spokesman said.
More than 100 people were being sheltered at nearby evacuation centres, but no estimate of the number of residents missing was available, he said.
Witnesses said the explosion shot a fireball more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) in the air and sent frightened residents fleeing for safety and
rushing to get belongings out of burning homes.
"Well when I first heard the explosion it was huge," said Neil Wild, who is a local firefighter.
After the blast, flames reached as high as 100 feet (30 meters) as the fire fuelled itself on burning homes.
Planes and helicopters flew over the neighbourhood dumping water.
The San Bruno Fire Captain said the neighbourhood was engulfed by the time firefighters arrived, even though the fire station was only a few
He said the blast took out the entire water system, forcing firefighters to pump water from more than two miles (three kilometres) away.
The captain said firefighters initially had trouble getting close enough to the ruptured gas line to shut it down because of the flames.