Maui Fire Lawyers Investigating the Cause of a Wildfire

Maui Fire Lawyers Investigating

In the aftermath of wildfires that destroyed many homes in Maui and killed at least 93 people, many people have questions about how the fires started. The answer might involve decisions made by local authorities or by a power company. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sent teams to Hawaii to assist local investigators in determining the cause of the fires.

Those investigations could include reviewing security camera footage of the area where the fires started. A clip from one video, shared on social media by the Maui Bird Conservation Center, shows a flash in the woods nearby the Kula property where the fires began. The fires started about 10:47 p.m. on Aug. 7 and swept through the forest, burning more than 30 acres of the conservation center’s land and structures.

Other potential items of evidence include witness statements, burn patterns, and the remains of utility equipment. One attorney, Mikal Watts, whose firm is investigating the fires, said he believes the blazes were sparked by damaged power lines. Watts was among the first to visit the site and begin interviewing witnesses, documenting the damage, and flying drones over the area.

Maui Fire Lawyers Investigating the Cause of a Wildfire

A Maui fire lawyers filed on behalf of five residents of Lahaina alleges that a local power company had a role in the deadly fires. The plaintiffs claim that Hawaiian Electric Industries should be held responsible for negligence, trespass, and nuisance. The attorneys who filed the suit, from the firms Singleton Schreiber and Watts Guerra, say they have concluded that HECO acted with conscious indifference to the probable and foreseeable consequences of its decision not to shut off electricity in critical areas ahead of the fires.

Maui fire lawsuit

The lawsuits allege that the power company failed to follow an industry standard established after a California utility was sued for its role in a fire that destroyed the city of Santa Rosa. Utilities, like MECO, are supposed to shut off power in high winds when there is a threat of fire. They also should have planned for the fires, such as keeping water supplies available in case of emergencies.

Residents who lost their homes also face the prospect of developers trying to buy their land. Some have already been approached by builders, adding to the stress of what’s been a devastating event for some.

Maui fire lawyers can help victims pursue justice and financial compensation for their losses. They will need to understand Hawaiian culture and values, government systems, insolvency issues, and the ability to select a jury that will be sympathetic to their causes. This is why it’s important that the attorneys hired by victims be experienced Hawaii natives with a deep understanding of the island’s history and community. Mike Danko, a partner with the firm Malama Law Group on Oahu and Maui, has extensive experience handling personal injury cases. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, magna cum laude, and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in the United States.

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