Man on oxygen dies minutes after power shutdown: fire official

National

FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Pacific Gas & Electric crews work to restore power lines in Paradise, Calif. Two years to the day after some of the deadliest wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, two of the state’s largest utilities were poised Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, to shut off power to more than 700,000 customers in 37 counties, in what would be the largest preventive shut-off to date as utilities try to head off wildfires caused by faulty power lines. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (AP) – Northern California fire officials say a man dependent on oxygen died about 12 minutes after Pacific Gas and Electric shut down power to the area as part of a massive effort to prevent fire.

El Dorado County Fire Chief Lloyd Ogan said Friday that fire personnel responded to a call in Pollock Pines that came in after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

He said crews arrived to find an unresponsive man in his 60s and were unable to revive him.

Ogan said the man’s oxygen equipment required power but could not say whether the shutdown was related to his death.

PG&E spokesman Jeff Smith said it has not been able to confirm the accuracy of the report.

The utility started turning off electricity early Wednesday in Northern and Central California in advance of strong, dry winds.

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