Calif: Utility violations led to deadly Oct. fires

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.)

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 27809624 -