One hundred and five families have settled with Oncor Electric Delivery Co. (formerly TXU) over damages from a fire on New Years Day three years ago that swept through the town of Ringgold, Texas and northern Montague County. The fire destroyed much of Ringgold and threatened the nearby town of Nocona. Overall, the fire burned 20,000 acres.

On a day of high winds, electrical lines arced, causing sparks that started the fire. Investigators discovered that a bolt missing from a cross arm brace allowed the arm to tilt and created conditions that favored arcing electrical lines. Victims of the fire alleged that the fire was caused by TXU’s failure to properly inspect and maintain the equipment. In fact, there was evidence that TXU had another company do an inspection three months before the fire and, after that inspection, TXU was notified about the missing bolt.

Because of the high winds and dry weather the day of the fire, people who saw the fire approaching didn’t have time to save their belongings—even family photographs and memorabilia—before fleeing from its advance.

Many of the families who suffered losses in the fire had no homeowners insurance or were significantly underinsured. For those homeowners who had recovered something from their insurance companies, Oncor will reimburse the insurance companies as part of the settlement.

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