SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A fire began at 7:30 on Monday night in two coal bunkers at the John Twitty Energy Center, formerly known as the Southwest Power Plant, in southwest Springfield. City Utilities of Springfield says, following a planned four-week outage for plant maintenance, unit 2 was being restarted when hot air ignited the coal being introduced into the system.
Two City Utilities workers were able to put out the fire. Firefighters from Springfield and Republic responded to the scene as part of a standard protocol for such events.
The two CU workers were exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide as a result of the fire. They had to be taken to a hospital for observation. CU spokesman Joel Alexander said, as of late Monday, the employees were improving and he didn't believe their conditions to be life-threatening.
Alexander says plant units 1 and 2 are fully functional and there appears to be no damage to the plant, nor any equipment. Alexander says training of the crews helped in the response to the fire and getting it under control quickly.