No one hurt in fire at geothermal plant |

No one hurt in fire at geothermal plant

Steve Puterski
Nevada Appeal News Service

FALLON – A fire erupted at about 10:25 a.m. on Monday at the Magma Energy’s Amor No. 2 geothermal plant on Soda Lake Road, causing unspecified damage.

Bill Lawry, Churchill County Fire Department safety training administrator, said a malfunction in one of the generating units may have caused the blaze. He added no one was injured in the fire.

Alison Thompson, vice president of corporate relations for Magma Energy, said four of the six turbines went back into service on Monday. One of the two remaining turbines was down for routine maintenance, according to Thompson.

“At this time we are still investigating this incident,” Thompson said. “The full complement of our team was on hand when the fire broke out, and we’re still investigating all the details.”

Thompson said the facility’s power output resumed to normal Monday evening.

Four engines, 24 firefighters and 10 civilian water tankers responded to the call, though fire crews could not immediately extinguish the blaze because of the presence of pentane, a volatile liquid that could have caused an explosion.

“I don’t know if it (the generating unit) overheated or what the problem was,” Lawry said.

The plant had four high-pressured water cannons spreading water on flames reaching about 35 feet. The facility contains a 1 million gallon water storage system on site, which was used to douse the flames.

Lawry said the pentane gas was stored in a 1,500-gallon tank near the generating unit, and crews had to wait about 90 minutes for it to burn out. He added the fire was subdued at 11:40 a.m. and crews waited about 45 minutes for the area to cool down before they entered.