REDDING, Calif. - The first lawsuit was filed Thursday against Pacific, Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), claiming they were responsible for the start of the 56,000 acre Zogg Fire. Six people are represented in this first filing by the Redding law firm Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer, and Frankel, LLP.
The Zogg Fire started Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at Zogg Mine Road and Jenny Bird Lane in western Shasta County. There were four fatalities and more than 200 structures were destroyed.
Attorney Todd Slaughter told Action News Now on Thursday that though they have no official confirmation that PG&E caused the Zogg Fire, they have filed the lawsuit from information gathered in their own investigation and from reports filed to officials by PG&E concerning occurrences in the Zogg Fire origin area on Sept. 27.
The firm claims in their lawsuit that was filed with the Shasta County Superior Court at noon on Thursday that they allege "this fire was sparked by unsafe electrical infrastructure owned, operated, and improperly maintained by PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric Company ("PG&E").
Action News Now contacted the CAL FIRE Shasta-Trinity Unit Thursday to find out more about the investigation into the cause of the Zogg Fire.
A CAL FIRE official said the cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time. All inquiries about the cause are now being directed to the Shasta County District Attorney's Office, a CAL FIRE spokesperson told Action News Now. We have contacted the Shasta County District Attorneys Office and are currently waiting for a response.
Action News Now also contacted PG&E on Thursday. James Noonan of PG&E Marketing and Communications said he wanted to emphasize that there has been no determination as to what caused the Zogg Fire.
Noonan provided the following statement: "PG&E filed an Electric Incident Report with the California Public Utilities Commission on October 9, 2020, after CAL FIRE informed us that they had taken possession of some of our equipment as part of the investigation into the cause of the Zogg Fire. CAL FIRE’s investigation is ongoing and there has been no determination about the cause of the Zogg Fire. PG&E continues to cooperate fully."
The law firm of Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer, and Frankel, LLP is currently representing 1,600 clients in their settlements with PG&E for losses from the Camp Fire that burned in Butte County in November of 2018, causing the destruction of many homes and communities, including Paradise and Concow.
Todd Slaughter, one of the attorneys, told Action News Now that he lost his own home to the Carr Fire that burned homes and swiftly pushed through Whiskeytown, Keswick, and Redding, burning 229,651 acres in Shasta and Trinity counties in the summer of 2018.
Slaughter said his firm is holding community meetings to meet with concerned citizens with losses from the Zogg Fire at the Elks Lodge in Redding at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22; 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23; and 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. The Elks Lodge is located at 250 Elk Drive in Redding.