Police: Poor Power Line Maintenance Caused Orange County Fire

January 12, 2009

Police say an electrical discharge from a poorly maintained power line caused a fire last November 2008 in Brea, Calif., that destroyed three homes and a school.

Sgt. Bill Smyser says the investigation shows the fire was not intentionally set but that a criminal negligence charge is possible.

The power lines blamed for the fire are owned by Los Angeles-based BreitBurn Management Co. The flames consumed at least 1,500 acres and destroyed the main building of Brea Canyon High School before merging with another fire to create the Freeway Complex, which burned hundreds of homes.

BreitBurn attorney Greg Brown says the company is cooperating with the investigation and questioned why police would release what he called “partial findings.”

The case will be submitted for review to Orange County prosecutors.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.