Woolsey Fire Victims File Lawsuit Against SCE

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A group of people affected by the Woolsey Fire that continues to burn in the Malibu area filed a lawsuit against Southern California Edison, accusing the utility of failing to shut off power in the area despite extreme fire conditions, attorneys announced today. 

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, filed Friday, contends Edison turned off power in the area only after the blaze began, and by then the electrical outage caused a loss of water pressure for firefighters and residents, contributing to the fire's spread.

``Southern California Edison failed to take proper precautions to protect people and property even though the utility had prior warning of the red flag conditions in the area,'' plaintiffs' attorney R. Rex Parris said. 

``SCE's decision to eventually turn off the power only exacerbated the problem for residents and firefighters.''An Edison representative said the company could not comment on the lawsuit, but noted an investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.

``The investigation may take a considerable amount of time to complete,'' according to Edison. 

``SCE's focus at this time is service restoration to customers still impacted in the Malibu area, and providing additional assistance to customers through the L.A. County local assistance centers.''

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