Fire contained at Bay County utility company - WNEM TV 5

Fire contained at Bay County utility company

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The Karn-Weadock power plant. The Karn-Weadock power plant.

There were some anxious moments at a Mid-Michigan power plant Thursday morning after a fire broke out.

Workers were evacuated and a couple of local fire units were called out to the Consumers Energy Karn-Weadock plant in Bay County just after 8 a.m.

"We had a fire today at the Karn Unit Two bunker dust collector," said Consumers Energy spokesperson Mary Kulis. "The bunker is the area where the coal is temporarily stored before it's fed into the boiler."

Coal is what's used to generate electricity from the plant.  There are six generating units which can provide power to communities totaling well over 1 million people. Two of the generating units were shut down due to the fire. A big question was whether any customers would lose service as a result of the fire.

"No, service to our customers [was] not affected as a result of this incident," said Kulis.

About 45 Consumers employees were evacuated for safety reasons. No one was hurt.  Essexville and Hampton township fire crews showed up to quickly get the fire under control. The fire departments stayed at the plant for several hours to monitor any possible hot spots that could flare up.

Kulis said this type of fire doesn't happen very often at the coal-fired generating facility.

"We do take precautions to minimize any dust collection that might occur, so we will be investigating this incident," Kulis said.

The workers were allowed back in the area where the fire happened shortly after 10 a.m. 

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