- Oct 25, 2017
The family of a northern California man who died within minutes of power being cut to his home blamed the planned power outage for his death, as he required an oxygen tank to breathe,
The family of a northern California man who died within minutes of power being cut to his home blamed the planned power outage for his death, as he required an oxygen tank to breathe, Fox40 reports.
Fire officials from the El Dorado County town of Pollock Pine say the man, identified by Fox40 as 67-year-old Robert Mardis Sr., died approximately 12 minutes after PG&E cut power to his home on Wednesday.
His family members told reporters that Mardis used an oxygen tank because he suffered from COPD and congestive heart failure. Fire officials said he was wearing his oxygen mask when he was found unresponsive.
Mardis was one of 2 million residents across central and northern California left without electricity after PG&E shut power off in anticipation of high dry winds that create perfect environments for wildfires.
The move has been highly controversial in the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom blamed the need for planned outages on the company's "greed" and "mismanagement."
Mardis's family told Fox40 that his electric oxygen tank lost power while he was sleeping and he was trying to get his back-up, battery-operated oxygen tank when he lost consciousness. Family members reportedly tried performing CPR, but paramedics pronounced Mardis dead shortly after they arrived on the scene.