National Grid employee suffers minor injury in Shoreham power plant fire

09/13/2011 6:06 PM |

FILE PHOTO | A fire broke out at the long defunct Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant Tuesday.

A National Grid employee suffered a minor injury while trying to asses a fire that broke out at the defunct Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant Tuesday afternoon, Wading River fire officials said.

The man twisted his ankle while “running around trying to ascertain how big the fire was,” Wading River fire chief Kevin McQueen said.

Officials believe leaking lubricating oils caused the fire at the National Grid-owned facility. The blaze is still under investigation by the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal’s office.

About 100 firefighters from seven departments responded to the 11:54 a.m. call, Mr. McQueeny said. A crash truck from the Gabreski airport in Westhampton was brought in to assist with a foam operation, which is using foam instead of water to put out the flames. The blaze took about an hour and a half to extinguish.

Water couldn’t be used, Mr. McQueeny said, since it spreads oil.

The fire originated near a 40-watt generator. McQueeny said the fire caused extensive damage to the generator, which is operated remotely.

“There was smoke visible,” Mr. McQueeny said. “Steel walls were on fire.”

The Riverhead, Manorville, Sound Beach, Miller Place, Rocky Point and Ridge fire departments assisted at the scene, and a Shirley ambulance assisted with firefighter rehabilitation.

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