Human Error Cause Of Colorado Springs’ Drake Fire

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Firefighters preliminarily determined that a mechanic’s error lead to an oil leak that ignited a fire and damaged a turbine at a major power plant.

The Gazette reported Friday that the mechanic went to change the wrong filter at one of three turbines at the downtown coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant. A Colorado Springs Fire Department duty report obtained by the paper documents that the shut-off valves had not been closed off and oil squirted onto hot steam pipes, igniting the May 5 fire. Colorado Springs Utilities spokesman Steve Berry said it was human error.

The newspaper did not identify the mechanic.

A city spokeswoman said the fire remains under investigation. The city-owned utility has hired an outside consultant to conduct an investigation.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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