PHOTOS: Crews wait out hazardous fire at Oroville power plant

7:40 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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THERMALITO, BUTTE COUNTY, CA - Fire crews don't know when they will have containment of a power plant fire near Oroville first reported just after 7:30 Thursday morning.

According to Cal Fire, the flames erupted in the far corner of the control room on the second floor of the five-story Ronald B. Robie Power Plant plant at 2950 Grand Avenue. Four stories are below ground and one is above ground.

Cal Fire Capt. Scott A. McLean said it was too dangerous to go inside. Crews cannot see anything because of heavy smoke and they know at least one large piece of equipment has collapsed.

Inside are at least four large turbines.

McLean added the fire continues to move around which was not helping matters. Crews remain relegated to the outside, watching black smoke stream out of the building. 

It was not known what sparked the fire.

No one was injured and no employees were on site when the fire broke out,  according to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) which operates the plant.

DWR spokesman Ted Thomas said water deliveries would not be impacted but power would have to be bought from other power plants to pump water.

Assisting Cal Fire were firefighters from Oroville, Chico and Butte County fire departments.


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