Malfunction caused Kleen Energy Plant Fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Malfunction caused Kleen Energy Plant Fire

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Smoke from the Kleen Energy Plant fire was seen from the Eyewitness News I-Cam. Smoke from the Kleen Energy Plant fire was seen from the Eyewitness News I-Cam.

Firefighters in Middletown said they responded to a fire at a power plant in Middletown Wednesday.

It happened at the Kleen Energy Plant inside one of its turbines, officials said. A malfunction caused a leak that sparked the fire.

"A concealed room that the turbine is in, it appears at this point that there was some malfunction in the cooling oil which caused a leak which eventually ignited," said Middletown South Fire District Chief Robert Ross.

Ross called the fire different from the explosion that occurred in 2010. Six people were killed in that incident.

"This is nothing like the event from four years ago," he explained during a news conference Wednesday morning.

Ross classified the fire as a "major event that is now under control." He said 50 firefighters were on the scene.

Fire departments from New Haven, Haddam, Middlefield and Durham responded.

Ross also said that despite getting the fire under control quickly, firefighters had to complete a tedious process before the area can be deemed safe because of flames still burning near the turbine.

"Firefighters will spend the day cutting out large pieces of this insulation material that wraps the turbine to make sure the fire is completely out," Ross explained.

No one was hurt.

"This is a testament to the bravery of these firefighters who are going to be in a very small space, taking apart these pieces and making sure there's no more combustion underneath," said Middletown Mayor Dan Drew.

Ross also said there is a notification system in place that notifies residents of an emergency, but it was not necessary to evacuate the area for this incident.

He said he expects crews to be on scene for the remainder of the day Wednesday to mop up smoldering insulation.

The plant remains open and its workers are helping firefighters, Ross said.

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