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Big Response to Fire in Woodchip Silo at Springfield Power

  • New London firefighter Tom Peltier relays a message to a co-worker while operating the pumper truck that was feeding water into a fire at the Springfield Power wood chip power plant in Springfield, N.H., Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The fire in a wood chip tank near the boiler in the plant was brought under control and Plant Manager Chuck Theall said he hoped to be generating power again late Tuesday night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • New London Deputy Fire Chief Pete Lewis walks back to his crew from the Springfield Power plant after a fire in a wood chip tank was brought under control in Springfield, N.H., Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Springfield Power employees, from left, Tim Roy, John Sykie, Walter Thibodeau, and a man who declined to identify himself, watch as fire crews work to put out a fire in a wood chip tank near the boiler in the Springfield Power plant in Springfield, N.H., Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Springfield, N.H. — Firefighters from at least eight departments responded to a blaze on Tuesday evening in a woodchip silo at Springfield Power. Crews were able to suppress the fire within a few hours with minimal damage.

“They have it in check now,” Springfield Fire Chief Pete Lacaillade said at the scene around 6 p.m. “It’s contained.”

Lacaillade said several departments — from Warner, N.H., to as far as Hanover — were called in to contain the fire because of the difficulty in accessing the burning material located high up in the multistory structure.

There were no serious injuries, he said, though a few cases of heat exhaustion were treated at the scene.

Springfield Power, a biomass plant located on Fisher Corner Road, is owned by Korea East West Power Company, a multinational firmbased in Korea.

The biomass plant began operations in 1987 and generates about 16 MW, according to the Biomass Power Association website.

The first calls for the fire went out around 4 p.m.

By 6:30 p.m., smoke from the power plant, which is visible from Interstate 89, had mostly disappeared, as firefighters clambered over the structure to bring water to the upper tiers.

Chuck Theall, the plant manager, said the facility had sustained little damage and would be back online soon.

“Everybody’s out,” he said. “No one’s hurt. Minimal damage. Should be back in operation tonight.”

 

 

 

 

Rob Wolfe can be reached at rwolfe@vnews.com or at 603-727-3242.