A recent article in the Austin American-Statesman echoed a report from the Travis County Fire Marshal’s office, stating that the 2011 Steiner Ranch fire, which destroyed 23 homes and killed one man, was most likely started by electrical lines that touched each other, causing them to spark and ignite grass.
The electrical lines, operated by Austin Energy, had enough slack to slap and arc, causing molten metal to fall onto combustible grass, stated Fire Marshal Hershel Lee. The fire marshal’s investigative team analyzed burn patterns, witness statements and video to determine the cause of the fire.
A spokesperson for Austin Energy said they have not had an opportunity to review the report and had no comment. Austin Energy is conducting its own investigation into the cause of the fire.
In a previous post we broke the news that Brett Burlison of the Barry Law Group is representing the widow of Travis County Constable Cpl. Kevin Aigner, who collapsed and died from a stroke Sept. 10, 2011, while working at the Steiner Ranch wildfire. He filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin and Austin Energy earlier this month.
The lawsuit alleges Austin Energy was negligent in installing, operating and maintaining the pole structure and power lines in the right of way near two homes on Mansfield Drive where the fire started.
Brett Burlison said the Travis County Fire Marshal’s statement about the fire “validates what we have been saying.” He said the fire started because Austin Energy didn’t keep the lines tight. If they had been tight, they would have swung in tandem when the wind blew instead of hitting each other.
We will continue to keep you updated on the developments of this wrongful death case. If you or a loved one has suffered due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve justice too. Contact the Barry Law Group today to get the compensation you are entitled to.