Tubbs Fire May Have Been Started By Third Party Equipment: PG&E

In new court filings PG&E argues a “third party” tapping into the utility’s electrical lines in Calistoga may have been the cause of the Tubbs fire.

The claim comes in documents arguing against combing 15 separate lawsuits filed over the North Bay firestorm.

“Although Plaintiffs have rushed to file complaints often while the fires were still burning, the reality is that no one currently knows what caused any of these fires,” the company argues.

But in the Tubbs fire that began in Calistoga, PG&E says, “preliminary investigations suggest that this fire might have been caused by electrical equipment that was owned, installed and maintained by a third party not named in these actions.”

That suggestion is apparently based on the report PG&E filed Oct. 27 with state regulators. It recounts how Cal Fire investigators had seized several fused wires, near Calistoga, as well as “a secondary service line that had detached from the fire-damaged home.”

Investigators also took “multiple sections of customer-owned overhead conductor that served multiple pieces of customer-owned equipment on the property. No damage to PG&E equipment was readily apparent.”

In its regulatory report on this incident, the utility goes on to say, “This information is preliminary and PG&E is fully cooperating with Cal Fire.”

As for its latest court filing, company officials had no further comment late Thursday.

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