Support for San Bruno fire survivors

Salvation Army joins recovery effort after gas line explosion.

by Laine Hendricks

The Salvation Army worked with the community of San Bruno, Calif. and other groups to meet the needs of persons displaced by the catastrophic gas line explosion of Sept. 9, 2010.

Shortly after the fire erupted, The Salvation Army South San Francisco emergency canteen deployed to San Bruno to distribute snacks and drinks to emergency workers and fire fighters. The team also offered aid and counseling to displaced families and community members.

“This is a humbling experience, as the San Bruno community is really coming together to support itself,” said Major Kelly Pontsler, San Francisco metro coordinator and general secretary for the Golden State Division. “As we transition from immediate to longer-term recovery, The Salvation Army is prepared to lend support to those families displaced by this horrible tragedy.”

During the initial recovery process, the Army provided practical assistance to meet immediate needs: hygiene and toiletry kits, store vouchers and gift cards, along with emotional and spiritual counseling. The Army also accepted donations of clothing and furniture at six locations in the Bay area. Affected families could select the goods that best fit their needs from donations collected at these locations, and from existing inventory at Salvation Army thrift stores.

The public may contribute to the recovery fund online at, by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY, and by mail at The Salvation Army, Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 80066, Prescott, AZ 86304-8066; please designate “San Bruno Fire Recovery.”

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