Crews battling coal fire in Fairbanks

Posted: Friday, June 05, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Fire crews in Fairbanks are fighting a coal fire at Aurora Energy's downtown plant, where at least one person has suffered injuries.

The fire is in one of the plant's towers and started Thursday afternoon.

Plant superintendent Steve Ferree was taken to the hospital with burns. Aurora Energy LLC president Buki Wright said the extent of Ferree's burns are unknown.

Ferree is the husband of Fairbanks Mayor Terry Strle.

Firefighters are using ladder trucks to access the roof, hoping to get into the tower.

Plant operators have shut down the building, and all staff is accounted for.

Fire crews from the University of Alaska and the city of Fairbanks responded, with Fort Wainwright crews on standby.

Fairbanks Battalion Commander Rich Meyer tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that the cause of the fire hasn't been determined yet, but it could have been an explosion from the coal dust.

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