A documentary film about the deadly San Bruno explosion premiered Thursday evening at the San Mateo County History Museum.
Several survivors watched intensely. Bob and Nancy Hensel were in the audience; they survived the fire and were featured in the film. The couple lost their home and two cats.
"Him mentioning the cats that we had," Nancy Hensel told NBC Bay Area with tears in her eyes, "I'll never forget those."
The release of the film,“Trial by Fire” comes just days ahead of the 2 year anniversary of the blaze that killed 8 people and injured dozens.
In the 30-minute documentary, Director Jon Rubin of South San Francisco explores the events of Sept. 9, 2010 from the point of view of those who fought the fire and those who lived through it.
In an interview Thursday before the film aired, Rubin told NBC Bay Area that the thrust of the film is about a disaster that takes place "literally" in someone's front yard, and that a community can pull together in times of need.
Mitch Postel, president of the San Mateo County Historical Association, added that the deadly fire is not just a local story. Rather, he said the tragedy should be a wake-up call for all of America about its aging infrastructure.
Since the natural gas explosion and ensuing fire, eight of the 38 homes that were destroyed have been rebuilt. Pacific Gas and Electric, which owns the pipeline that exploded, has settled multiple lawsuits and is expected to be back in court in January for some civil case trials. In addition, local lawmakers have pushed for stronger pipeline reform as a result of the deadly incident. Three bills are now on the governor’s desk, aimed at upgrading pipeline oversight.
In addition to Thursday's showing at 7 p.m., there is an additional showing on Saturday at 1 p.m. The films will be shown at the museum, 2200 Broadway Street in Redwood City. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, and will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. About 100 people can fit in the auditorium.