Hawaii power utility takes responsibility for first fire on Maui, but faults county firefighters

Hawaii Fires
The charred remains of a vehicle sit near a wildfire-destroyed home Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, in Kula, Hawaii. The same day a wildfire ripped through Lahaina, one tore through Kula, as well. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaii’s electric utility acknowledged Sunday night its power lines started a wildfire on Maui but faulted county firefighters for declaring the blaze contained and leaving the scene, only to have a second wildfire break out nearby and become the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century.

Hawaiian Electric Company released a statement in response to Maui County’s lawsuit blaming the utility for failing to shut off power preemptively.

Hawaiian Electric called that complaint “factually and legally irresponsible,” and said its power lines in West Maui had been de-energized for more than six hours when the second blaze started.

A Maui County attorney says it’s the utility’s fault because their power lines caused the initial fire.

Read the full story on AP News right here.

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8/28/2023 4:02:58 PM (GMT -5:00)

Categories: Regional and US News