OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:08 PM – Sunday, August 13, 2023
Lawyers probing the origin of the Maui wildfires that have killed at least 93 people and an undisclosed number of wildlife allege that the devastating inferno was caused by damaged Hawaiian Electric equipment.
“All evidence — videos, witness accounts, burn progression, and utility equipment remaining — points to Hawaiian Electric’s equipment being the ignition source of the fire that devastated Lahaina,” said Mikal Watts, whose law firm is among three others investigating the fires.
Singleton Schreiber Law Firm and Frantz Law Group also concurred, stating their investigations had led them to the same conclusion.
Hawaiian Electric’s faulty infrastructure allegedly ignited the fires that ravaged the tourist community of Lahaina last week.
However, some online users have voiced their opinion that the new revelation and back-and-forth blame games are simply a manipulation tactic by the lawyers involved in the investigation.
One user commented, “The embers aren’t even out & the vulture law firms are already chomping at the bit. Wait until the investigation is completed. I’m sure there will be many companies & agencies at fault…”
Hawaiian Electric, which serves 95% of the state’s residents, said in a statement that the origin of the flames has yet to be determined since most of the region is still closed off and is said to be the worst U.S. wildfire in over a century.
Democrat Governor Josh Green warned that investigations might take weeks or months.
The blame comes as Hawaiian Electric is under fire for failing to switch off electricity to its Maui Electric branch despite warnings of ideal fire conditions projected by oncoming dry, hurricane-force winds.
Following the deadly fires of 2020, utility companies in California, Oregon, and Nevada also utilized the practice of cutting electricity in similar situations.
Hawaiian Electric reported that gale-force winds had brought down power lines in the region long before the Maui fires. According to the governor, at least 2,200 structures in west Maui have been damaged or destroyed, with the total damage estimated at about $6 billion.
Green remarked that the majority of the demolished structures were in residential neighborhoods.
On Tuesday, it was reported that practically all of Lahaina’s infrastructure was destroyed by fires that were so intense that inhabitants had no alternative but to leap into the ocean to save their own lives.
Additionally, according to FEMA and the Pacific Disaster Center, up to 4,500 individuals have lost their houses as a result of the flames and are in need of refuge.
The Maui flames have now surpassed the 2018 Camp Fire in California, which killed 85 people and devastated the town of Paradise. Paradise is in Butte County, California.
As individuals returned to their burning neighborhoods, officials in Lahaina and Kula cautioned residents not to drink flowing water and to take showers only in well-ventilated rooms due to fears of chemical vapor exposure.
According to Maui Police Chief John Pelletier, federal emergency personnel are presently scanning the damaged communities, marking places with an “X” that must be examined by crews and cadaver dogs, and marking other sites with “HR” when human remains are discovered.
He also cautioned that the death toll was sure to rise and that only a few of the slain have been identified, as the majority of bodies were burned to a crisp.
A relief group has been created on Facebook in order to help families find missing loved ones and as an outlet for residents to request what supplies they need. It was reported that over 1,302 people are still missing.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts