>> tonight on "nightline," blown apart. the inside story of how this entire california neighborhood was leveled by an explosive inferno fueled by the gas lines beneath their streets. how some neighbors smelled gas up to a week before it happened and what it was like at the moment of crisis. lion ranger. how do you find a family for an orphan with giant fangs, enormous paws and mischievous streak? for this man, it is a full-time job and is not afraid to get physical to keep the peace. we step into the lion den. the preppy comeback. pop the collar on that pink polo
shirt and dig out your topsiders. 30 years later the prep look is back. it's "a sign of the times." >> from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," september 10th, 2010. good evening, everyone. we begin tonight with that natural gas explosion that destroyed a neighborhood south of san francisco yesterday just as residents were sitting down to dinner. survivors have really shocking stories to tell of the sky filling with orange and their homes shaking around them. now many have nothing to go back to and everyone is asking what went wrong, especially those residents who say they smelled gas days before the blast. neal karlinsky is in california with our report. >> reporter: it was the most extraordinary of events in the midst of such an ordinary night. b.j. dugal was watching the nfl's opening game when he felt a rumble he first thought was cheering fans for the new orleans saints.
>> like a bolting, shaking so bad, and like i say, the fireball like it was coming on my face. >> reporter: ricardo was watching the news when it happened. his 12-year-old son richard was doing his homework down the hall. >> a big bang and i saw a big ball of fire. and that's what scared me, so i went to my son and i told him there's flame -- i think a plane crashed somewhere and i told him, oh, we're dead. we have to get out of here. >> unbelievable. >> reporter: 72-year-old antoinette will never forget it cooking pasta for her husband in the house they shared together for 50 years. >> i was getting dinner ready. >> reporter: you were making dinner. >> that's when i saw the big blast, the big kaboom and said, oh, my god, oh, my god. that's when he came out to see what oh, my god was all about. >> reporter: they all came out alive.
les didn't have time to get his walker and was using a shopping cart to get around today. it was a 6:41 p.m. when a 30-inch natural gas line buried three feet underground in the middle of this neighborhood blew with staggering force, flames shot up like a geyser. firefighters responded in just one minute, but had no water because of damage from the blast. over the next three hours, firefighters laid hose to pump in water from two miles away while air tankers and helicopters attacked the fire from above. >> well, the first unit came down the hill probably a hundred yards from the fire and the windshield cracked. they turned -- >> reporter: cracked while they were rolling up? >> yes, yes, so they pulled back up and they noticed paint on cars bubbling up already. >> reporter: residents evacuated. some just barely. ricardo and richard suffered second-degree burns from the searing heat as they scrambled out their door and over a fence in their bare feet. >> this just came from all the heat from that fire.
it was so hot. >> we were lucky that there is a ladder in my backyard. i used that to clean the gutter and i thought about it so i took that and we used that. >> like the scariest day of my life so far. >> reporter: today they have only the clothes on their backs. their house is nothing but ashes. but they are thankful because together father and son faced death last night and can't believe they cheated it. >> i was sad because we lost everything, but i'm happy that we're all safe, you know. that's what's important. >> reporter: all afternoon temporary shelters saw a steady stream of bewildered outcasts, not sure what to do. >> my mother-in-law, she had no clothes. she just had a nightgown. >> they can help her with that. >> 80 years old. >> reporter: the community showed more than its share of generosity donating clothing, food, even advice but for those
who found themselves newly homeless the pain was hard to blunt. >> how do we feel? homeless. that's how we feel. i have no home. i have no clothes. i have my family. that's all i'm grateful for, very grateful. >> reporter: at the center of it all a pipeline and a question, why did it explode? natural gas accounts for a quarter of this country's energy use. there are 2.5 million miles of gas pipeline crossing the country. >> there's a major incident on a pipeline in the nation every other day or less, so if you look at it per mile it's pretty rare. >> reporter: some san bruno residents reported smelling fumes days earlier. >> about a week ago, it smelled like gas, like gas someone is pumping outside of the house. >> reporter: the owner of the gasline, pacific gas and electric, says it is investigating any early reports of gas fumes. >> customers reporting that to pg&e had smelled gas in the area
previously. right now, we haven't got confirmation about that, but we have records that we are going back right this minute to try to confirm what exactly those phone calls looked like and when they occurred. >> reporter: pg&e was faulted once before for responding too slowly in another explosion two years ago in rancho cordova. this pipeline is 50 years old, but it is unclear when it was last inspected. >> throughout the next few days our investigators will be working on scene to thoroughly document the accident site and gather factual information to do what they can to determine what happened. >> reporter: it is a question this community wants answered. people who have lost everything including the piece of mind that the infrastructure under their feet is safe. i'm neal karlinsky for "nightline" in san bruno, california. >> that looks like a war zone there. as the investigation unfolds, of course, you can check for the latest at abcnews.com. our thanks to neal karlinsky for that report.
when we come back we will take you to south africa. the realm of the big cats and the devoted man who has made an interesting life among them. i knew it was gonna be a success. the invention was so simple that i knew i needed to protect it. my name is chris schutte, and i got my patent, trademark, and llc on legalzoom. [ shapiro ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com, we put the law on your side.
you got it! how about a nice home for our tv? how about doors to hide that drive-in theater? how about a cowhide rug? yee-haw! and the snacks? get their own place. let the marathon begin! big cats. exercise a mystical pool on the pagination even as they strike fear into most rational two-legged animal. man either turns them into prey or spectacle but the man you're about to meet seems to stagle the line between tame and wild in an effort to help them thrive. he says he can stay safe even when he's between the paws of a giant lion. stephanie sy has our report.
>> reporter: provoking a 460-pound teenage lion is a very bad idea. >> be nice. be nice. >> reporter: lion trainer kevin richardson must
carefully analyze the dynamic of this lion pride as he introduces two new member, younger cubs. having grown up orphans together, the two have a close bond. but it's vital they're part of a group of lions. mafumu is the braver one. >> guys to help. >> reporter: bandit appears to be the most aggressive of the lion possi which rightly owned the name "the terrible teen." >> if it doesn't work out i don't know what i'm going to do. >> reporter: eventually the others seem to accept mafumu and bietzi. kevin takes personal responsibility for all these cats.
he helps develop this lion park in south africa five years ago for the filming of a movie stars thor, this moody male. since filming, kevin
has worried about where funding to maintain the animals will come from. without revenue the park will have to close, the animals either sold or worse put to sleep. >> well, i would hate nothing more than to see this place go and the animals in it. it's my life and soul. >> reporter: the emotional roller coastster is only beginning. five weeks after the cubs are introduced to their new pride, a tragic discovery. mafumu turns up dead. bietzi is distraught and having been separated from other members of the pride for his own safety lonely. he has lost his best friend. as kevin examines the corpse he
doesn't see evidence that his death was caused by other lions. >> if he was in a fight any way they'll kill the guys in the neck immediately, a suffocating bite. while the others rip him apart. you see, look here, absolutely none here. nothing in the neck. on his back legs, they normally bit them. nothing. >> reporter: kevin draws another conclusion. >> tongue does look a bit swollen. the tongue swells up, he can't breathe. >> reporter: snakes are highly venomous and one bite would be enough to asphyxiate him. >> i don't even know what to say. i think what we need to do maybe today is bury the body. >> reporter: with mafumu gone he
has another dilemma. what to do with bietzi. >> this lion is clearly missing his brother. it will take some time like it does in people for him to get over it. you're feeling lonely? >> reporter: soon kevin's companionship won't be enough for bietzi. >> one of our lions is in desperate need of a partner. >> we're not in a position to help you out. >> reporter: he calls up a nearby lion park to see if there is a cub close to bietzi's age. there are, indeed. >> hey, are you coming to a new home? are you coming to meet -- >> reporter: this time kevin is looks for a lioness companion likely to be more accommodating around the traumatized male. >> you've got it. >> reporter: he finds the perfect candidate, but she has a sister and livi and ginny are a
perfect age. >> i think it's the perfect age. slightly smaller, slightly younger. he needs a bit of confidence boosting so he's going to feel a lot more relaxed interacting with smaller lions than he. >> reporter: the first meeting is awkward and kevin is forced to play middleman to ease the tension. >> i'm going to just slowly separate myself out of here and let them mingle and it's up to him to impress the ladies now. because it's time for you to be a man, my son. >> reporter: over a couple of weeks he does entrust the ladies. >> having seen how his happiness has changed over the last couple of weeks he's completely a relaxed happy lion again. >> reporter: although they also leave their impression on him. ginny and livi are a naughty handful and their behavior has
clearly rubbed off on bietzi. playing among themselves is one thing but kevin easily becomes a chew toy when he comes in the middle. >> what they don't realize is that i'm just a human and i've got very thin skin. >> reporter: in order to establish his place in the pride as the trainer kevin has to discipline the animals when they get out of hand. >> don't chew me. don't sneak up behind me. >> reporter: even after all his efforts -- >> surrounded by lions. >> reporter: kevin's relationship with the lions are ever fragile and could turn at any moment. it's a risk he's willing to take to help preserve a majestic species. >> i'm a firm believer in cradle to grave and for every animal that you hand raise, you really are responsible for his destiny.
it's a lifetime commitment. >> reporter: i'm stephanie sy for "nightline" in new york. >> don't chew me. what a motto. the lion ranger show about kevin richardson and about the cats premieres on monday on natgeo lives. to new england for sightings of different species. it's the return of the prep. where nature meets science. wel, if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, you may also have very high triglycerides -- too much fat in the blood. it's a serious medical condition. lovaza, along with diet, effectively lowers very high triglycerides in adults but has not been shown to prevent heart attacks or strokes. lovaza starts with omega-3 fish oil that's then purified and concentrated. it's the only omega-3 medication that's fda-approved. you can't get it at a health food store. lovaza isn't right for everyone.
tell your doctor if you're allergic to fish, have other medical conditions and about any medications you're taking, especially those that may increase risk of bleeding. blood tests are needed before and during treatment. in some, ldl or bad cholesterol may increase. possible side effects include burping, infection, flu-like symptoms, upset stomach, and change in sense of taste. ask your doctor about lovaza, the prescription that starts in the sea.
natives of her prep school and thought there's some rich material here. the result was the best-selling "the official preppy handbook" and now that style is back and for john berman that is a sign of the times. ♪ >> reporter: in these weak economic times, the world filled with dour moods, gray attitudes and dim outlooks what is the key to salvation? how do we find inspiration? and perhaps most importantly, what do we wear? >> until we know what is going to happen in the world, it's nice to have something positive and there is something very positive and very friendly and very clean about being preppy. >> reporter: there is power in pink. greatness in green, promise in preppy. >> you're going to just -- >> reporter: no at least according to lisa birnbach, 30
years ago she started a searsucker revolution of the release of the "preppy handbook." >> i thought, i can do this. i went to private school all my life. i used to be called bunny. i wasn't sure i was going to mention that. i played tennis. >> reporter: the preppy princess helped launch an entire culture of l.l. bean wearing izod loving people but that was 30 years ago, now three full decades later, something funny happened on the way to the croquet match. preppy is back. you can see it in the new line of tommy hilfiger clothing. you can see it in an explosion of uber prep websites and blogs like summer is a verb. you can see it at nantucket's westmore club with drinks. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: before noon. >> it's like macaroni and cheese really.
it's comforting. it's familiar. >> reporter: you can even see it in the white house. >> is barack obama preppy. >> well, he is and i'll tell you why. he went to punahoe, the largest private school in the united states in hawaii for 13 years. he's athletic. he smokes. >> reporter: and he married a princeton girl. with this clear resurgence there was a clear need, guidance. >> the world changed around us so much that preppies need a manual to sort of get through these rough times that we're living in. >> reporter: this week lisa released "true prep," the new bible for preppies. as the book says it's a whole new old world. how so? first off -- >> way more inclusive. we talk about black preppies. we have a section on the gay preppy. gay preppies were basically in the closet 30 years ago. >> reporter: who is the least preppy person in the world right
now? >> every "real housewife." >> reporter: what about adapting to technology? >> all the single ladies, all the single ladies, they should not be your ringtone. you should be very distreat. >> reporter: lifestyle. >> a big, big, big change is rehab. you know, because 30 years ago drink, drink, drink, drink, drink and now rehab is like boarding school. >> reporter: to really get a sense of the world of prep to better place to visit than murray's toxgery like preppy camouflage. it's here i agreed to an extreme makeover. prep edition. how much work do i need. >> reporter: well, how much time do we have? kidding. the blazer is lovely. the tatterall shirt is great, cotton. it really is great. >> reporter: i gave lisa carte blanche. >> i'd like to see you in
seersucker. have you ever tried? >> reporter: i think maybe my mother made me wear it runs and i ran away. >> let's try it and maybe a bow tie. let's try a naval point belt. oh, honey, the doggies. what do you think? people are going to -- i mean -- >> reporter: people are going to beat me up. >> no, they won't. >> reporter: people will beat me up. i headed to the dressing room with a hand full of clothes and concerns. >> all i can say, john, is i'm holding on to something sturdy in case i swoon. are you tcfw, too cute for words? >> reporter: finally, the reveal. all right. i think i look a little scary. >> scary. could be good. oh, god. hold me. wow! this -- i mean you're perfect. you look -- okay, i'm not kidding, 30% more handsome than when i met you and you were
already handsome. 30. >> reporter: i would be scared to walk anywhere in these -- in this. >> well, women will fall at your feet. >> reporter: 75-year-old women named muffy. there is probably a preppy outfit out there for everyone. believe me, i kept trying. own it, wear it, live it, love it. yes, in these dreary times -- is this good? >> ready for polo. >> reporter: maybe, just maybe we would all benefit from looking through the world with pink and green-colored glasses. >> in the best of all possible worlds, we can all be preppies and i really mean that. we can all be well dressed. we can all be well spoken. we can all have good manners and play a good round at the tournament, at the club. that would be my dream and world peace. >> reporter: i'm john berman for "nightline" on nantucket. >> i'll give you a thousand dollars to do that, wear that to your next live shot, chip
berman, thanks to you for that report. when we come back, pastor jones lands in new york and that is the subject of tonight's "closing argument" but first here's jimmy kimmel with what's coming up next on "jimmy kimmel live." >> dax shepard, jessica stroup, music from shontelle and "jimmy kimmel live" is next. mmmm. you don't love me anymore do you billy? what? i didn't buy this cereal
to sweet talk your taste buds it's for my heart health. so i can't have any? if you can deprive me of what can help lower my cholesterol... and live with yourself. right. mmm, i wry about your mother. cry herself to sleep every night over my arteries, but have yourself a bowl. good speech dad. [ whimper ] male announcer ] honey nut cheerios tastes great and its whole grain oats can lp lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy. ♪ man: we need a sofa. something i can stretch out on! woman: ooh... that will go with those lamps my mother gave us. or we could get some new lamps. or we could get no sofa. negotiating, eh? you got it! how about a nice home for our tv? how about doors to hide that drive-in theater? how about a cowhide rug? yee-haw! and the snacks? get their own place. let the marathon begin! saving money. and like baseball people love their stats.
i started bringing my lunch to work -- 50 bucks a week in my pocket. here's a good one: state farm insures 40 million drivers. more than geico and progressive combined. i saved because i'm accident-free. of course, with so many ways to save including discounts of up to 40%, having that many customers shouldn't be a surprise. so ask a neighbor about state farm, then call an agent at 1-800-state-farm or go online. and eating well means getting enough whole grain and calcium. and general mills big g kid cereals can help. did you know it's the only leading line of kid cereals with at least 8 grams of whole grain and a good source of calcium? cereals they already love, like lucky charms and cinnamon toast crunch. give your kids more of what they need to be their best. grow up strong. with big g kid cereals. ♪