Welding Sparks Fire Up Coal Plant

Thursday, June 6, 2013 @ 05:06 PM gHale

A fire that started on a conveyor belt system at Xcel Energy’s coal-fired Comanche power plant in Pueblo, CO, caused an estimated $1 million in damage, firefighters said.

The Pueblo Fire Department said the fire early Saturday started on a conveyor belt system about 180 feet above ground. It moves coal from trains to storage areas.

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A subcontractor was doing welding work on the conveyor system when sparks ignited the conveyor belts, which had coal and coal residue on them, said firefighters in their initial reports. Burning pieces of conveyor belt fell into a stack of coal that also caught fire.

The department on Monday estimated the damage at $1 million, but no one reported any injuries.

The fire department said Xcel can still generate electricity while it makes repairs.

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