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Mechanic Blamed For Causing Springs’ Drake Fire No Longer An Employee

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(credit: Colorado Springs Fire Department)

(credit: Colorado Springs Fire Department)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – 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 but CBS4 learned the mechanic is no longer employed by the power plant.

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

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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