Homeowners: California City Liable for Home Razed in Fire

December 8, 2008

A couple whose Yorba Linda, Calif., home was destroyed in a wildfire in November have filed a $1.8 million claim against the city and water district, saying officials should have ensured there was sufficient water on hand to fight the blaze.

Attorney Eric Traut says his clients Paul and Gillian Johnson lost their home in the city’s Hidden Hills Estates because firefighters did not have enough water. The city also had ordered residents to stop watering easements in the community.

Assistant City Manager Dave Gruchow says the city will evaluate the merit of the Johnsons’ claim.

Traut says the Johnsons saw their home and possessions burn to the ground on television.

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