Fire, Explosion at FL Power Plant

Thursday, July 10, 2014 @ 04:07 PM gHale

The cause of a fire and explosion at a Duke Energy plant in Fort Meade, FL, Monday afternoon is still under investigation, officials said.

“It did not result in any customer outages,” Duke spokesman Sterling Ivey said. “We do not foresee any long-term impacts on our ability to provide electricity to customers.”

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Four firefighting agencies rushed to the Hines Energy Complex at 3 p.m. when the call came in there was an explosion in the facility that caused a fire, said Polk County Fire Rescue spokesman Dave Walters.

Twenty-six Firefighters from Polk County, Fort Meade, Bartow and Hardee County fire rescue agencies were on the scene, according to a report from Polk County Fire Rescue.

No one suffered an injury and all 30 Duke Energy employees ended up accounted for, Walters said.

High-pressure steam lines and a 5,000-gallon lube oil tank are near where the fire started, but firefighting crews were able to secure both to prevent further damage, officials said.

The Hines Energy Complex has four combined-cycle units and generates 1,912 megawatts, according to Duke’s website.

Ivey said the fire was contained to the second generating unit. “It’s really great that the fire was contained where it was. It didn’t spread to the other three units, and a lot of that goes to the work of the firefighters.”

Duke Energy officials are beginning to assess the damage and determine the cause, but it will take a few days before they have any solid answers, Ivey said.

“From our perspective, we’re saddened by the fire but we do not believe there will be a long-term impact,” Ivey said.



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