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Second fire at power plant in a week

Second fire at power plant in a week

May 21, 2013 - The Associated Press

WHEATLAND -- One worker was hospitalized and two others treated and released after a second fire in a week at the same power plant.

The fire early Sunday happened at the coal unloading area at the Laramie River Station plant, Basin Electric Power Cooperative said in a release Monday.

The three workers were hurt trying to put out the fire. All three were treated at Platte County Memorial Hospital in Wheatland.

One worker was flown to the North Colorado Medical Center Western States Burn Center in Greeley, Colo., and remained there Monday. The others were released but scheduled for follow-up treatment at the burn center Monday.

Basin Electric spokesman Daryl Hill said he didn't know the conditions of the three employees. The utility did not release their names.

A fire broke out at the same coal-fired power plant May 14. Nobody was hurt in that fire, which firefighters put out within a few hours.

Hill said the fires didn't appear to be related.

"It's probably more unfortunate-coincidental than anything," he said.

The previous fire started in a surge bin, a container that collects coal from conveyor belts.

The Laramie River Station is a 1,700-megawatt, coal-fired power plant. Basin Electric is the plant's operating agent. Five other utilities are partners.

The utility had shut down one of the plant's three units for maintenance before last week's fire. Another unit was taken out of service after that fire.

The plant was functioning at one-third capacity Monday with one unit in operation. Hill said utility officials expected the other two units to remain offline until early June.

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