Firefighters and deputies responded to a wind turbine that caught fire near the village of Elkton.
Jeff Smith, an Elkton village official, said the fire, which broke out on April 1, is 300 feet in the air and crews couldn't reach it to extinguish the blaze.
The fire burned itself out at around 11 p.m., according to Oliver Township Fire Chief Jim Seley.
Jared Schuette owns the property where the wind turbine is located, he said that this is quite an ordeal because this has never happened before.
“It’s insane, it’s a small town and everyone was coming from everywhere to record it and take pictures,” Schuette said.
Officials secured the area out of concern that the large blades, made of fiber glass and wood, would fall. But Seley said they are still intact.
Smith said not much could be done to extinguish the flames, but the Oliver Township Fire Department and Huron County Sheriff’s Office remained on the scene to secure the area.
Schuette said that everyone around watched the fire burn in amazement.
“We were just shocked, we’ve never seen this. There’s 100s of windmills around us and we never ever had anything like that happen and they’ve been up for 12 years now,” Schuette said.
Constellation & Exelon Power issued the following statement on the fire:
On April 1, a wind turbine at Harvest Wind II in Huron County, Michigan caught fire. There were no injuries to the public or employees. First responders established a perimeter around the affected turbine, and the fire has since extinguished. Operators immediately deenergized the other Harvest Wind II turbines as a precautionary measure. As always, safety remains our top priority.
The company also said it is too early to assess the full damages, but the nacelle and blades of the turbine are considered a full loss. They will be working with the turbine manufacturer to determine the best course of action.
When investigators determine what started the fire, the company will then decide how best to replace the turbine.
Exelon Generation said out of the 850 wind turbines it has operated since 2007, there have been two wind turbine fires.
One happened in Dumas, Texas and the other in Huron County on Monday. The two wind turbines were made by different manufacturers.
The turbine in Huron County was manufactured from Harvest Wind II turbines.
The company said no employees, contractors, or residents were injured from these incidents.
The distance that turbines are placed away from homes and businesses can vary from county and township, the company said.