Fullerton building inspectors Jim Lace and Nick Lopez have returned from San Francisco where they aided in the earthquake relief effort.
On Oct. 26, Lace, Lopez and 88 other building inspectors and structural engineers from Southern California boarded a National Guard transport plane for San Francisco.
The trip, coordinated by the Office of Emergency Services and the Orange County Management Agency, was an effort to help meet the flood of building-inspection requests by San Francisco residents.
Lace and Lopez spent two days examining buildings in the Richmond District and flew back on Sunday.
The Richmond District consists largely of Victorian homes but did not suffer as much damage in the Oct. 17 quake as did the Marina District because it was built on natural, compacted soil rather than uncompacted soil, Lace said.
Lace and Lopez worked 12-hour days in San Francisco and examined 40 buildings, going over the structures, plumbing, and whatever else needed inspecting.
"Mostly it was a lot of hand-holding and we saw some basic cracking," Lace said.
Although the pair saw a lot of cracked walls, stucco and bricks, they did not have to declare any buildings unsafe for occupancy.
"By the time we got there, the really severely hit areas had been inspected and cordoned off already," Lace said.
But they saw many buildings demolished in the Marina District, where the inspection team met each morning.
"They would make piles after demolishing the buildings, and people came and looked through the piles for their belongs," Lace said. "It was really sad."