YUBA CITY (CBS13) — The California Public Utilities Commission is hitting PG&E with a $1 million fine over a 2017 gas pipeline explosion that leveled a Yuba City home and sent two people to the hospital.
Mike and Deborah Sayles’ young family have decided to stay in their Yuba City home two doors down from the blast site. Several of their neighbors have decided to leave.
“We’ve had a few neighbors move out,” Mike Sayles said. “Because they didn’t feel safe on the block.”
The exodus followed an explosion on Jan. 12, 2017. That’s the day their neighbor’s home erupted in flames around 6 a.m.
Pictures show the terrifying scene. The two people inside somehow survived. The moment is seared into the Sayles’ memories.
“Waking up with the vibration,” Sayles said. “The big boom.”
Now the California Public Utilities Commission has issued citations against PG&E for $1 million. The watchdog agency blames the giant utility for installing the pipeline incorrectly in the 1970s.
PG&E issued a statement reading:
“PG&E is reviewing the citations … We continue to keep those impacted by these incidents in our thoughts and prayers.”
John Lee Clark is the owner of the home that was destroyed. e was inside and suffered severe burns. Since his release from the hospital, family says he has been unable to return to work.
Now the Public Utilities Commission is forcing PG&E to pay up. As Clark’s recovery continues, and his neighborhood does too.
“This neighborhood’s nice, peaceful, nice and quiet, except for what happened,” Sayles said.
The PUC is giving PG&E 30 days to either pay the fine, or appeal the citation.