Beaver power plant destroyed in blaze

Fire leaves village without electricity

Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2007

FAIRBANKS - Residents in Beaver were without power Monday after a fire destroyed the village power plant.

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Loss of the power plant left the village without electricity beginning at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. A small back-up generator was being used to provide emergency communications.

The community remained without power Monday afternoon while measures were being taken to get power restored, said Robert Stewart, a program manager with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Alaska State Troopers and the deputy state fire marshal both traveled to the roadless village, located 110 miles north of Fairbanks along the Yukon River, on Sunday afternoon.

Nora Billy, a Beaver resident, said that the fire started around noon during the installation of a new generator.

"What I hear is that one little spark ignited the whole thing," she said.

Residents turned out to help fight the fire and sprayed water on the nearby post office to keep it from burning, she said. The local volunteer fire marshal used heavy equipment in the village to protect the rest of the community.

There were no reports of injuries.

State emergency response agencies were activated Sunday because it appeared the fire could threaten residents and the village fuel storage area.

"The community contained the fire with the tools they had there," said John Madden, director of the Division of Homeland Security, in a news release. "Their efforts are admirable and demonstrate the resourcefulness of Alaskans who are faced with an emergency."



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