Evacuation lifted following Longview power plant fire

A “precautionary” evacuation order has been lifted following a Jan. 5 fire at the Longview Power plant in Maidsville, W. Va., according to the Monongalia County, W. Va. Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency.

Emergency officials had issued an evacuation for a one-mile radius around the 700-MW coal-fired power plant as a result of a gas tank fire.

The order was issued due to a concern of potential explosion of one or more tanks. On-scene fire personnel “were able to quickly shut off the main line of gas coming into the plant and burn off the excess gas to secure the tank and scene,” the county emergency office said on its Facebook page.

Late Jan. 5, the local emergency officials reported that the fire was out and safety checks had been made to ensure the safety of the area. “Fort Martin Road will be reopening soon to vehicular traffic,” the local emergency office said.

Local news reports indicated that the fire occurred roughly between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time. One of several gas tanks inside the station caught fire but did not explode, according to news reports. No injuries were reported.

It was not immediately clear if the plant was operating at the time of the accident. Plant officials did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Jan. 6.

GenerationHub records indicate that the plant had a capacity factor of almost 59% in 2012.

Longview Power LLC has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and hopes to emerge from that process soon.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.