Fire at Manchester Street Station in Providence sends black smoke high into sky

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Plumes of black smoke were visible for miles as crews in Providence rushed to a three-alarm fire at the Manchester Street Power Station late Saturday morning.

Deputy Fire Chief Brian Mahoney said his department received a call about an explosion at the plant around 11 a.m.

When crews arrived, they found heavy fire and thick black smoke coming from the area.

Initially, no one entered the building. Officials called representatives from National Grid and Starwood Energy, who both operate out of the plant, to terminate all power so crews could enter safely.

Once inside, they determined there was no fire in the building. The blown transformer that is believed to have started the fire was in the yard of the property, separate from the power plant itself, according to officials.

Mahoney said about 5,000 gallons of a coolant comprised of mineral oil was burning, causing the thick black smoke to be seen for miles.

Crews on scene were taking readings of the air around the area during the fire and Mahoney said nothing came back toxic.

It took about four hours for crews to extinguish the fire.

Right now, the cause is under investigation. No one was hurt.

National Grid said that no customers lost power during the fire.

A spokesperson for the power plant’s operator said they expected to have two transformers back in service Saturday night after they were turned off as a safety precaution.

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