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More Marshall Fire victims file lawsuits against Xcel Energy

More Marshall Fire victims file lawsuits against Xcel Energy
More Marshall Fire victims file lawsuits against Xcel Energy 02:22

At least two lawsuits have already been filed and more are expected against Xcel Energy claiming it is in part responsible for starting the Marshall Fire in December 2021. Even though Xcel Energy continues to maintain that its equipment is not responsible for the start of Colorado's most destructive wildfire, the number of people suing the company continues to grow.


Jacki Kramer hurriedly snapped photos as she fled her home in Superior as the Marshall Fire grew closer.

"I knew immediately, I knew driving out we weren't coming back," she told CBS News Colorado.

She has not returned to her rented home, the pictures show her the reality.

Now she is among those planning to sue Xcel Energy after the Boulder County Sheriff's Office investigation found the fire ignited in two locations. one spot due to power equipment.

"I can replace my clothes, which I obviously have done. I can replace my kitchen items, I can't replace my antiques," Kramer said.


The investigation also found that the fire started on the property of a religious group. Xcel Energy is a large company with deep pockets. She does not accept the company stating it is not responsible.

"I don't think the sheriff would come out in and the DA would come out and say they were responsible unless they knew they were."

Those fire victims who join the lawsuits have very little downside, according to Kramer's attorney.  

Benjamin Petiprin, who heads a California law firm that has settled with power companies over wildfires numerous times in the past, "In the event, where we never receive recovery for our clients, we do not take a fee."

Xcel stated it strongly disagrees with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office findings that it was responsible, it has referred to the winds that day as an "act of God."

Petiprin disagrees, "It's not an act of God for a company not to maintain its power lines in a way that prevents fires like this from happening."


Xcel issued the following statement following the announcement of the findings by the Boulder County Sheriff: 

"Our thoughts are with the families and communities impacted by the devastating wildfire in Boulder County. We agree with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office report that the Marshall Fire started as a result of an ignition on a property (5325 Eldorado Springs Drive) previously reported to be affiliated with an entity called the Twelve Tribes, and that this ignition had nothing to do with Xcel Energy's powerlines. The Sheriff's report cites several potential causes for a second ignition near the Marshall Mesa Trailhead that started roughly an hour after the first fire. We believe the second fire burned into an area already burned by the fire from the first ignition, and did not cause damage to any homes or businesses. We strongly disagree with any suggestion that Xcel Energy's powerlines caused the second ignition, which according to the report started 80 to 110 feet away from Xcel Energy's powerlines in an area with underground coal fire activity. Xcel Energy did not have the opportunity to review and comment on the analyses relied on by the Sheriff's Office and believes those analyses are flawed and their conclusions are incorrect.  We have reviewed our maintenance records and believe the system was properly maintained. We operate and maintain our electric system consistent with leading energy service practices and we're proud of our employees and the work they do to deliver safe, reliable and clean energy to our communities. As members of the Boulder community, we will continue to support our neighbors in this recovery."

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