POLLOCK PINES (CBS SF) — An autopsy has concluded the death of a man dependent on oxygen was not caused by the power shutoff by Pacific Gas and Electric 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, about 12 minutes after PG&E cut the power to his area.

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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.

But late Friday afternoon, the El Dorado County cororner’s office said the cause of death was severe coronary artery atherosclerosis, and the power outage was not the cause of the man’s death.

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The patient also had a clinical history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the coroner’s office said.

PG&E started turning off electricity early Wednesday in Northern and Central California in advance of strong, dry winds. As of Friday afternoon, the utility had restored power to more than 70 percent of the nearly 2 million people left in the dark in Northern California.


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