(Courtesy photos from VC Fire and KVTA FB followers that night)
For the first time, Southern California Edison has admitted publicly that its equipment was responsible for one portion of the massive, destructive and deadly Thomas Fire that broke out on the night of December 4, 2017.
In a statement to investors, the company said its equipment was responsible for what's believed to be the "second start" of the Thomas Fire along Koenigstein Road, west of Thomas Aquinas College near the Upper Ojai.
That "second start" happened about a half hour after the first or "original start" east of Thomas Aquinas College above Steckel Park near Santa Paula.
Edison says witnesses have said they saw the "second start" near one of its power poles along Koenigstein and it believes its equipment is responsible.
As far as the original or first start above Steckel Park, there have been reports and allegations in court documents claiming that also was caused by Edison equipment but Edison says it cannot confirm that because Cal Fire investigators have impounded that equipment as evidence and Edison has not been able to examine it.
The original or first start of the Thomas Fire was the fire that burned west to Ventura causing the destruction of hundreds of homes and the death of one civilian.
The second start that Edison says was caused by its equipment burned through the Upper Ojai and around the perimeter of the Ojai Valley eventually burning into Santa Barbara County.
Both fires combined burned almost 282,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures, mostly homes, apartments, and businesses.
Two people died, a woman who tried to flee the fire and crashed her vehicle in a canyon between Santa Paula and Ventura in the first hours of the fire, and, Cal Fire Engineer Cory Iverson who died while battling the flames west of Fillmore a few days later.