California Utility Violations Led To Deadly October Fires

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Improperly maintained utility lines are being
blamed for three wildfires in California's San Diego County last
October that killed two people and destroyed more than 1,300 homes.
The California Public Utilities Commission says the blazes were
started because San Diego Gas & Electric and Cox Communications
violated power line maintenance regulations.
Two of the fires began when utility wires touched in strong
winds. The commission says a third ignited when a tree limb fell
onto a power line.
The commission is also accusing the gas and electric company of
failing to cooperate with investigators who were looking into the
cause of the fires.
The utility denies that claim and says regulators lack the
evidence to support the other allegations.
San Diego County plans to add Cox Communications to a
40-million-dollar lawsuit against the utility, which is also
fighting lawsuits from more than 300 fire victims.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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