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NTSB To Investigate Massive 3-Alarm Gas Fire In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday announced it was sending a team to the scene of Wednesday's three-alarm natural gas fire in San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood to investigate.

About 300 residents were without gas, but PG&E crews worked throughout the day to restore the service, PG&E spokeswoman Andrea Menniti said Thursday. At 4:00 p.m., PG&E said that gas began flowing in the line and that the repair was finished.

They had about 35 reps going house-to-house in the affected area to relight pilot lights.

Crews worked through the night to repair some of the damage caused by the fire as well as to restore the electricity to all of the 2,500 customers who lost power.

The incident, first reported at about 1:10 p.m. near Geary Boulevard and Parker Avenue, left two buildings with major structural damage and three others with extensive water damage, according to police and fire officials.

Flames shot in the air for more than two hours before crews stopped the flow of gas at 3:36 p.m.

Third-party contractors working on fiber optics struck a 4-inch gas line, causing the rupture and subsequent explosion and fire, PG&E officials said.

Mayor London Breed confirmed Wednesday that no one was injured.

It was not immediately clear how many residents or businesses have been displaced.

Menniti said the contractors had called 811 to check for any utilities underneath the area before they started digging. PG&E crews then sent a locator to the scene on Jan. 28 and made markings in the area, she said.

A reason for the breach despite the markings remains under investigation, she said.

KPIX 5 did some checking on Mastec, the vendor that was hired by PG&E to install fiber optics at the location. The company had several violations in other states and three in California, including one that drew an initial $75,000 fine over trenching.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report

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