The investigation into the cause of California’s Paradise fire is finished. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) did the investigation and found that Pacific Gas & Electric failed to maintain the high-voltage tower and the hook that held the power line that fell during the November windstorm.
It set fire to Paradise, burned down most of the town and killed 86 people.
The PUC said PG&E didn’t thoroughly inspect the transmission tower and the hook that broke in the high wind. With over 50% loss, it could not support the load it was designed to hold, fell and started the fire.
If PG&E had properly maintained the tower it would have noticed the faulty C-hook and done the repairs. However, it was apparent to the PUC that the hook had been wearing down for a long period of time and the report concluded that “PG&E failed to maintain an effective inspection and maintenance program to identify and correct hazardous conditions on its transmission lines.”
PG&E has accepted the conclusion of the commission and said, “We remain deeply sorry about the role our equipment had in this tragedy, and we apologize to all those impacted,” the company said.
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