The president of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says the utility company is launching a $100 million fund for victims of last week's gas pipeline explosion.
PG&E president Chris Johns announced in San Bruno on Monday that the money was to help victims meet their day-to-day needs and would come with "no strings attached."The company will issue checks to affected residents to cover insurance deductibles by the end of the week," Johns said.
"The fund will be available to help citizens rebuild their lives and rebuild the city that they have so proudly lived in for so long," John said.
The fund will not impact claims that homeowners will likely file at a later date.
Johns says the company had already given San Bruno's mayor $3 million to help cover the city's own expenses in battling and recovering from the blast.
Residents from homes destroyed or badly damaged in the blast were told in a private meeting Monday that they'd receive $50,000 checks this week. "I realize money can't return lives, can't heal scars, can't replace memories," Johns said. "Some of the things that have been lost you cannot put a value to."
Bob Pelligrini, whose home was leveled, says residents were told the checks would not preclude them from taking further legal action against PG&E.
"It is very important that this community know that there are funds, enough funds, to rebuild their lives," Johns said.