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Survivors react to PG&E Camp Fire involvement

The utility said Thursday in an earnings report is is "probable" that it's equipment started the fire.

Posted: Feb 28, 2019 3:06 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2019 6:39 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - "Grew up here as a little boy, seen Paradise change from a couple of stoplights to pretty much no land where you could build anymore," said Glenn Hartley.

Glenn Hartley never expected the greatest change of all, would be near total devastation.

"Their home, our home, the business, my grandmother's home, 90% of our friends lost homes too," said Hartley.

Cal Fire's still investigating the cause of the Camp Fire that tore through the Foothills in November of 2018.

But Thursday, utility PG&E announced in an earnings report that it is "probable that its equipment will be determined to be an ignition point".

They cited the California Public Utilities Commission report that found PG&E equipment malfunctions near the site of the fire.

Hartley says this admission from PG&E gives him hope that he'll have a little more help rebuilding Joy Lyn’s Candies, the shop that's been passed down in his family for generations.

He's filed a claim against the utility.

"If he can help and get something from PG&E the amount we're not getting back, more power to him, because we're short on insurance," said Hartley.

Attorney Mike Danko of Northern California Fire Lawyers says the announcement makes one thing clear: PG&E has set aside $10.5 billion because they believe they'll be legally required to pay out claims to Camp Fire survivors.

So, despite the company filing for bankruptcy, the money is there.

But is it too little, too late?

"It sort of rings really hollow, I have no words, they caused us to lose everything, our community, it's going to be such a struggle to come back, it’s heartbreaking, how do you pay for that?" said Pam Hartley, Glenn’s mother.

"We all knew they did it, but saying they did it is at least a step in the right direction for everyone. So, hopefully we keep moving forward with our lives and can start rebuilding the town" said Hartley.

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We're getting hotter as we head into the middle of this week, and the potential for thunderstorms will prompt a Fire Weather Watch in the Sierra on Thursday. Hot & dry conditions continue through your weekend.
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