SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco attorney has filed wrongful death lawsuits alleging negligence against PG&E on behalf of the families of a Mendocino County couple who died in a wildfire in Redwood Valley last month.

Attorney Mary Alexander’s suit in San Francisco Superior Court Wednesday claims PG&E failed to maintain electrical equipment, trees and vegetation to prevent contact with electric power lines.

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The couple who lived together were unable to escape their burning home, and the man died trying to save the woman, according to Alexander’s spokesman Robert Weiner.

Alexander is representing 17 plaintiffs in suits filed last week for gross negligence, according to a news release.

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The complaint alleges downed power lines sparked and caused fires to untrimmed vegetation and trees located close to the power lines in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Butte counties.

The fires in Northern California killed 43 people, 23 of them in Sonoma County.

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Other lawsuits alleging PG&E’s negligence caused fire-related property damage and deaths have been filed in San Francisco.