GREENVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Community members in Greenville are suing Pacific Gas and Electric, alleging the utility is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of homes and businesses during the Dixie Fire.
Harvey Marino says he belongs to the Mountain Maidu tribe, which has lived in the Indian Valley for generations.
“I don’t plan on being anywhere else, you know? This is where my family’s been. We’re indigenous to this area, so, there’s nowhere else for me to go,” Marino told FOX40. “We lost our home, right over here.”
The Dixie Fire ravaged the town of Greenville, where he’s lived for years, and flames destroyed the home he shared with his family.
He is one of the 200 homeowners, renters and business owners filing a lawsuit against PG&E.
“The thrust of the suit is that PG&E started the Dixie Fire by negligently failing to properly inspect and maintain their equipment,” explained one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Gerald Singleton of the law firm Singleton, Schreiber, McKenzie & Scott, LLP.
Kevin Goss, a supervisor for Plumas County’s District 2, and his family have owned Village Drug Pharmacy in downtown Greenville for nearly 40 years.
“I lost my pharmacy during the fire,” Goss told FOX40. “One day you think that the fire’s not going to be coming into town and then, the next day, the town is all gone and there’s so many stories out there, so many folks that’ve lost everything.”
Community members gathered to voice their concerns to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Wednesday night’s townhall meeting drew in at least 100-plus concerned residents.
“Everybody thinks it could’ve been avoided, you know?” Marino said.
Singleton said he hopes the lawsuit will help those who have lost so much eventually rebuild.
Many of those affected by the fire told FOX40 their insurance companies either canceled or wouldn’t provide insurance to them because of the fire-prone areas they reside in.
“That’s a huge issue. And that’s something that is becoming a larger problem throughout the state,” Singleton said.
PG&E sent FOX40 the following statement:
PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. We continue to support the firefighters and first responders working to contain the Dixie Fire. CAL FIRE has not made a determination on the cause of the fire, and we have not been able to review the evidence CAL FIRE collected. We remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area, and are committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe.
PG&E has not received notification of a lawsuit.Pacific Gas and Electric Company