One Faulty Hook Blamed for California's Massive Fire

Sources tell NBC Bay Area a hook on PG&E tower failed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2018 7:16 PM CST
One Faulty Hook Blamed for California's Massive Fire
Power transmission lines crest a hilltop above Camp Creek Road, the point of origin of the Camp Fire, in Pulga, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The cause of California's deadly Camp Fire still has not been officially released, but sources say a single hook may be the culprit. Specifically, a steel hook that held up a high voltage line on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower, sources tell NBC Bay Area. There had already been much speculation that PG&E, the state's largest utility, is to blame for the wildfire that burned through more than 153,000 acres, destroying the entire town of Paradise and killing at least 85. One of the company's power lines was reportedly causing sparks just before the fire started Nov. 8, and multiple lawsuits have been filed against the utility by fire victims. Now, sources say, investigators have determined a hook on a nearly century-old PG&E transposition tower failed in high winds the morning the fire started—and it started at the base of that tower.

Neither Cal Fire nor PG&E would comment on NBC's story, but an attorney representing fire victims alleges PG&E failed to properly maintain its equipment, and another attorney suggests the utility may have more problems in store if it can't keep its aging equipment safe. See the NBC report for more, including video showing wires dangling where the hook failed on the tower. (Was the president right about California wildfires?)

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