Electrical Power Lines Caused Powerhouse Fire: Officials

More than 100 residents have filed suit against LADWP, accusing the company of negligence in failing to inspect and maintain its electrical transmission lines

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Juan Guerra
    A firefighter watches the Powerhouse Fire burn during a lengthy battle against the blaze that erupted in May 2013. Officials said Monday, June 23, 2014, that the fire was sparked by electrical power lines.

    A wildfire that burned more than 30,000 acres and destroyed dozens of structures in Southern California last spring was caused by electrical power lines, the US Forest Service said Monday.

    The announcement comes after a year-long investigation into the blaze, which erupted May, 30, 2013, in the San Francisquito Canyon area of Santa Clarita near LADWP's Powerhouse 1, the oldest hydroelectric plant in LA.

    More than 100 residents have since filed suit against LADWP, accusing the company of negligence in failing to inspect and maintain its electrical transmission lines, wires and equipment, among other allegations.

    Downed Power Lines Focus of Powerhouse Fire Investigation

    [LA] Downed Power Lines Focus of Powerhouse Fire Investigation
    Victims who lost their homes during the 2013 Powerhouse fire are preparing a lawsuit against the DWP, nearly 24 hours after the forest service announced the blaze was the result of downed power lines. Lolita Lopez reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Lake Hughes Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

    "As a company, they had a responsibility to maintain equipment, surroundings and those kinds of things, and according to this report those things weren't maintained the way they were supposed to be," said Vivian Buentiempo, who lost her home in the blaze.

    LADWP said no one would comment until the company receives the full investigative report, but officials said in a statement that "LADWP does not believe that equipment age was a factor in the cause of the fire."

    Lolita Lopez contributed to this report.

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