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UPDATE: BWL reports minor damage after plant fire

Posted at 4:27 AM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 04:27:33-04

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The BWL Erickson Plant is up and running after a fire closed it down last week.

The plant, located on Canal Road in Delta Township, has a small amount of damage to some equipment from the fire.

The BWL says that they are confident they will have plenty of power for the heat wave that is coming.

Investigators on Friday, July 12, confirmed that a fire inside the Lansing Board of Water and Light's Erickson Plant in Delta Township started in the area where the coal enters the facility.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire in a coal hopper in the building on 3725 S. Canal Road at approximately 10:54 p.m. on Thursday, July 12.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the coal hopper, said Mike Roberts, a fire inspector with the Delta Township Fire Department.

He added that no one was injured.

The fire was fully contained in about two hours.

"Coal has a tendency to be able to spontaneously combust. Because of what it is especially with any kind of moisture, and so that's very possible. But right now there is no cause in origin that's been determined yet," Roberts told Fox 47 Friday morning.

Crews shut down the Erickson plant immediately after the fire was reported as a precaution.

They are still looking for an official cause but believe that it was the coal spontaneously combusting.

Delta Township, Lansing Township, Windsor Township, Lansing, Benton and Grand Ledge fire departments all responded to the scene.

Breina Pugh, BWL spokesperson told Fox 47 that the plant was offline but expected to be open on Monday.

They added that no customers were affected, and that no one lost power at any time.

The BWL broke ground on the $500 million plan for the new Delta Energy Park power plant that will replace the utility's coal-powered plants, including the Erickson plant.

The Erickson power station is scheduled to shut down in 2025.

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