Construction work may have caused one of the fires that swept San Diego County recently, according to reports. If true, the findings raise questions of who was responsible for the fire that burned several properties and forced thousands of evacuations.
According to the San Diego City Metro Arson Strike Team or MAST, flames sparked at an excavation site were responsible for the blaze that became known as the Bernardo Fire due to its proximity to Rancho Bernardo. The fire apparently began just off Nighthawk Lane and quickly spread to burn 1,548 acres in North County. The fire has now been completely contained.
Investigators believe that the fire was started at a construction site in the earliest stages of development where a survey crew was testing soil by digging a small series of trenches using a backhoe. After digging and covering one site, the crew noticed as they began to leave the area that smoke and flames were coming from the recently excavated trench. The crew attempted to extinguish the fire but were unable to control the blaze. Flames spread quickly to the dry brush and the crew was forced to flee.
MAST investigators have determined that the cause of the blaze was accidental.
The findings were a relief to some after rumors of arson as a cause for several of the fires that ripped through San Diego County in the past week. Several people have been detained and questioned in connection with these fire, which have done millions of dollars in damage and forced tens of thousands of evacuations.
However, even if a fire was started accidentally, it does not mean that the people who started the fire are free from liability. When a person commits an accidental action that leads to injury for another individual, that person may still be considered negligent and may be responsible for payment of damages.
According to California law, a person can be responsible for the damages caused by an accident even if that individual did not intend to cause harm. The standard for negligence is whether a person should have known that his or her actions could be harmful.
Daniel Gilleon, a personal injury attorney in San Diego, may be able to help those who are victims of someone else’s negligence. Contact him today for more information.