According to Tammy Ridout, manager of media relations for AEP, the fire started in the generator step-up transformer, which is what takes the generator voltage and increases it to match the transmission line voltage so that power can leave the plant.
Ridout said that Meigs County fire stations, including Middleport, Pomeroy and Rutland fire departments, were called to the scene, but the flames were contained before they arrived. The fire was extinguished by a deluge system, or an activated sprinkler system, she said.
Middleport Fire Chief Jeff Darst said the fire occurred in what is known as Unit 2, where the tranformers are kept behind the plant where they can’t be viewed from the road. However, smoke could be seen rising above the plant from passing motorists. Darst said the fire was contained by the Gavin Fire Brigade by the time he and his crew arrived, but that his crew, as well as Pomeroy and Rutland, all helped extinguish the flames.