SUPERIOR, Colo. (KDVR) — A lawsuit has been filed against Xcel Energy on behalf of more than 20 Marshall Fire victims.

Thursday morning, Boulder County officials released their findings of an investigation into the cause and origin of the fire, finding two separate fires combined to form the fire.

One of those fires was likely caused by a damaged Xcel power line, according to Sheriff Curtis Johnson. That’s a reason attorneys think that have a reason to file a claim.

“Xcel Energy is liable for the fire,” attorney Ben Petiprin said, “and we intend to hold them responsible for all of our clients’ damages.”

At 86, starting over after the Marshall Fire

Jacki Kramer lost everything in the fire and is now being represented by Petiprin’s firm. The 86-year-old said it was reassuring to hear causes and origins had been identified.

She says she was significantly underinsured and believes Xcel should foot the bill. 

“They’re a good company, they’re a big company, they can afford it,” she said. “It’s a gratification to know somebody is responsible and will take care of their responsibility.”


Petiprin said they’re currently representing about eight families but believe that number will grow significantly in the coming weeks.

They’re holding a town hall Saturday, June 10, at 2 p.m. at the Louisville Recreation and Senior Center for those interested in learning more about the lawsuit. 

Xcel Energy responded to the findings Thursday with the following statement, denying responsibility:

Our thoughts are with the families and communities impacted by the devastating wildfire in Boulder County.

We agree with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office report that the Marshall Fire started as a result of an ignition on a property (5325 Eldorado Springs Drive) previously reported to be affiliated with an entity called the Twelve Tribes, and that this ignition had nothing to do with Xcel Energy’s powerlines. The Sheriff’s report cites several potential causes for a second ignition near the Marshall Mesa Trailhead that started roughly an hour after the first fire. We believe the second fire burned into an area already burned by the fire from the first ignition, and did not cause damage to any homes or businesses.

We strongly disagree with any suggestion that Xcel Energy’s powerlines caused the second ignition, which according to the report started 80 to 110 feet away from Xcel Energy’s powerlines in an area with underground coal fire activity. Xcel Energy did not have the opportunity to review and comment on the analyses relied on by the Sheriff’s Office and believes those analyses are flawed and their conclusions are incorrect.

We have reviewed our maintenance records and believe the system was properly maintained. We operate and maintain our electric system consistent with leading energy service practices and we’re proud of our employees and the work they do to deliver safe, reliable and clean energy to our communities. As members of the Boulder community, we will continue to support our neighbors in this recovery. 

Xcel Energy