THE elderly owner of land where a fallen wooden power pole sparked a fire that destroyed 57 homes was added as the third defendant in a Supreme Court hearing on Thursday last week.
The Parkerville, Stoneville and Mt Helena bushfires in January, 2014, started when the pole, on land belonging to Noreen Campbell, fell and ignited dry grass.
Residents who lost their homes have taken legal action against Western Power and its contractor Thiess, alleging the utility had a responsibility to maintain the pole, which had been inspected six months earlier.
Western Power and Thiess are defending the action, saying they were not responsible for the pole as it was on private property.
Local firefighter Greg Jones, who saved his Stoneville home from the blaze, said the residents had no choice but to add the landowner because of State Government action taken three months ago in a separate case. The case has been adjourned to March 1 next year.