Everything appeared normal Wednesday night at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, but the exterior walls obscured between 15 to 20 firefighters from Craig Fire/Rescue who responded to a blaze within an air duct in Unit 2. The fire is under investigation.

Photo by Ben McCanna

Everything appeared normal Wednesday night at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, but the exterior walls obscured between 15 to 20 firefighters from Craig Fire/Rescue who responded to a blaze within an air duct in Unit 2. The fire is under investigation.

Craig Fire/Rescue responds to blaze at Tri-State

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No one was injured Wednesday during a fire that shut down Unit 2 at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station.

Craig Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Dennis Jones said 20 firefighters responded to the fire, which took place within a large air duct.

By the time firefighters were assembled and ready, however, the fire had been suffocated, Jones said.

“The fire was out by the time we made all of our arrangements to make sure we were safe,” he said. “We basically investigated.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known, and it’s unknown how long the investigation will take.

Jones said the fire may have been fueled by coal ash that had accumulated in the duct.

On Thursday, the fire department had turned the investigation over to Tri-State officials, which Jones said is common.

“They’re the experts on their own equipment,” he said. “Typically, if a house catches on fire, we’ll be the investigator. … But, something like that (at Tri-State) is usually site specific.”

Tri-State spokesperson Jim Van Someren said high temperatures continued into Thursday afternoon, and had stalled progress on finding the cause or making repairs.

“That specific area has not cooled down enough to access the ductwork,” he said. “But, from what they’ve been able to tell, it looks fairly isolated and really minor.”

Van Someren said Unit 2 will remain offline for the time being.

“If preliminary indications are correct — and minor repairs can be made — we’ll be getting that unit back up just as soon as we can,” he said. “I’m unable to commit to any sort of timeframe right now, but it could be quicker than we thought.”

In the meantime, Units 1 and 3 remain fully operational, he said. The fire won’t affect the workforce.

“We’ll have a full workforce,” Van Someren said. “It will be Tri-State employees who will be doing the inspections and repairs.”

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Comments

greenie52 3 years ago

I'm sure glad the fire put itself out, who knows how long it takes them to get ready.

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peasandcues 3 years ago

How ignorant. Walk a day in their shoes and then make your judgement.

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xrsareus 3 years ago

greenie52,
You have not a clue. Firefighter safety should be # 1 in everyone's mind. Would you go into a dangerous, unknown situation without being prepared? Either you have never been inside the power plant or you are just clueless. It is a massive place. Takes time to get everything and everybody in place especially if the firefighters have to climb multiple stories with equipment. I'm pretty sure the plant has fire suppression systems to help keep a fire in check until fire crews can assemble and develop a plan. If the fire happens to be put out before the firefighters are ready by the suppressions systems, that is a plus. It means those firefighters, that are there for us get to go home to their family's UNHARMED. Greenie, maybe you should apply to be a firefighter, come on, do it. In your opinion they need someone with your insight. Or......... are you just an arm chair quarterback?

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haveathought 3 years ago

greenie52 Wow that's quite a statement from someone who has never been a fire fighter. Perhaps you might want to go through all the training and education and then try it out. If our fire fighters are not safe then how can they help anyone? I certainly would want my loved one to go in prepared and ready to fight a fire and save individuals or structures and then be able to return home safe. I challenge you to try out for the battalion. As I understand only half make it through so good luck to you on that.

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