SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Thousands of families narrowly escaped the fierce flames that gobbled up homes in Sonoma and Napa counties
Now, as survivors try to move forward, they want to know how the fire started.
State and Cal Fire officials are investigating whether Pacific Gas and Electric’s downed power lines caused by strong winds sparked the fires.
An attorney who has been to battle with PG&E in the courtroom before, says the utility company is to blame.
“It does appear based on the information that we’ve received that PG&E lines would have caused at least some of the fires. What we’re doing is basing all of this on the best evidence that we have. And the best evidence we have are reports of a transformer that blew near the start of the Tubbs Fire—reports of downed power lines. There were no lightning strikes and no other reports,” said Gerald Singelton.
Gerald Singleton says PG&E could be on the hook for $6 billion in damages if found responsible for causing what is now the deadliest fire in state history.
The utility giant’s electrical equipment has failed before.
Over the years, state regulators have fined PG&E tens of millions of dollars related to wildfires. That includes the 2015 Butte Fire in Amador County, where Singleton settled hundreds of cases against PG&E.
Now he’s getting ready to hit the company with another lawsuit.
“I think at this point it is [speculative],” he said
For now, Singleton says he’ll continue meeting with fire victims, and help them find a temporary place to call home.
He says many are living in tents, or on the street.