Hawaiian Electric, whose equipment reportedly sparked the Maui blazes, may have cleared damaged power poles and other infrastructure from a key fire scene before investigators were able to assess the location, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The utility company sought to quickly restore power on the island after the fires erupted on Aug. 8 and destroyed the town of Lahaina, killing at least 115 people, according to the Post. Work crews began clearing debris on Aug. 12 from the substation near where the fire may have started, two days after a law firm representing more than 20 Lahaina families had made requests to the company to preserve potential evidence pursuant to prospective litigation, the Post reported.
The utility’s decision to begin clearing debris could have been in violation of national guidelines regarding steps utilities ought to take to preserve potential evidence, the Post reported. The decision to clear the damaged infrastructure in that location denied investigators the opportunity to examine the scene in undisturbed condition, the Post reported. (RELATED: As Democrats Blame Climate Change, Massive Government Failures May Have Fueled Hawaiian Fires)
REPORTER: “Mr. President, any comment on the rising death toll in Maui?”
BIDEN: “No. no comment.”
REPORTER 2: “Will you come talk about the Hawaii response, Mr. President?”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 14, 2023
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