Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) surprised the community of Paradise Wednesday at a special town council meeting.
PG&E’s Vice President of Electrical Operations, Aaron Johnson, apologized to victims of the devastating Camp Fire.
The statement came one week after an investigation by fire officials concluded that PG&E’s equipment started the blaze that destroyed nearly 14,000 homes.
“On behalf of my company, I want to apologize for the role our equipment had on this tragedy,” Johnson said. “Nothing I can stand up in front of you and say is going to undo that. We also understand it creates an obligation for us to do the right thing for this community. We’ve all been expecting the news about PG&E, and there’s a lot of people who lost, you know, people here and that wasn’t mentioned.”
Johnson said the company would be placing the town’s power lines underground, as well as those for surrounding areas.
Residents said they appreciated the statement.
“I thought they did a nice job. I feel like they’re trying,” said Scott Norman, Camp Fire survivor.
“And those of us attending those meetings, we love our town and we’re not going anywhere else, we’re in for the long haul,” added Camp Fire survivor Cathy Gallentine.
Eighty-five people were killed in the Camp Fire, which broke out on the morning of November 8, 2018.