Shut down

Photo courtesy of NYPA

The heat was on, but not where it was wanted.

At approximately 2:55 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, an electrical fault occurred at New York Power Authority’s Hell Gate 1, located on Locust Avenue, when a small piece of equipment used to start the generating units caught fire.

The equipment’s protection system operated as designed, according to a representative for the New York Power Authority, and the facility was safely shut down.

The fire was contained immediately without any injury to the public or operations personnel, loss of power to the area, or release of any harmful substances to the community.

NYPA’s on-site operator, upon investigating the shutdown, noted a smoke condition and immediately contacted the FDNY, which responded.

The fire was contained in a limited enclosed area on the grounds of the small clean power plant, and was promptly extinguished by FDNY with the assistance of NYPA on-site personnel.

The fire was limited to an enclosed area and was extinguished with a hand-held fire extinguisher, according to NYPA officials.

“The fire was caused by an electrical fault,” said deputy director of media relations for NYPA Connie Cullen. “A fault occurs when electric current flows along an unintended path. NYPA engineers are working closely with the manufacturer of the equipment involved and are doing testing of the component to determine the cause of the fault.”

According to Cullen, the electrical enclosure contained the fault, but in the process suffered minor damage which resulted in the small fire.

“The enclosure that completely encloses the component is the size of a household refridgerator and is designed to contain faults,” Cullen said.

At no time was the public in danger, NYPA said.

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