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Fire contained at Plant Bowen; 2 Bartow firefighters taken to hospital with minor injuries

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Plan Bowen incident July 13, 2017

Black smoke appears to be pouring from one of the stacks at Georgia Power's Plant Bowen in Euharlee on July 13, 2017. Georgia Power's statement says the fire actually is at a transformer in the switchyard outside of the structure. (Photo contributed by Minerva Dano)

Bartow County firefighters, assisted by Cartersville and Paulding County, spent more than five hours Thursday battling a blaze that broke out in the transformer yard at Plant Bowen south of Euharlee.

“Two Bartow County firefighters were transported to Cartersville Medical Center with minor injuries,” Deputy Fire Chief Dwayne Jamison said.

No other injuries were reported, but Jamison said the fire extended to the roof of the Georgia Power plant building, which sustained moderate damage. There was extensive damage to the yard in front of the plant.

The fire, which sent black smoke roiling into the sky, started around 3 p.m.

Georgia Power spokeswoman Meredith Stone said the transformer fire was essentially contained within the switchyard, the hub where electricity is converted into the proper voltage before it is moved onto the grid.

The power delivery system “functioned as designed,” she said, so there were no customer outages caused by the fire.

While the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, Stone said they believe it was the result of equipment failure related to a transformer.

“The safety of our facilities and employees is our top priority, and we are monitoring this situation. We will provide additional information as available,” she said.

Jamison said six Bartow County fire stations responded, along with Bartow County Emergency Management Services, Cartersville Fire Department and Paulding County Fire Department.

An explosion on April 4, 2013, injured three people and shut down the plant for nearly a month. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited 17 safety violations and levied a penalty of $119,000.

On Oct. 27, 2015, a contractor working at the plant was hospitalized with burns received during an electrical flash while performing offline maintenance of electrical equipment at the facility.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED: Bartow County firefighters are on the scene of a transformer fire at Plant Bowen, south of Euharlee.

Deputy Fire Chief Dwayne Jamison called it an explosion, but could not immediately provide further information.

"The fire is in hand, but we seem to have our hands full right now," he said.

No injuries have been reported.

Georgia Power spokeswoman Meredith Stone said there is a transformer fire contained within the switchyard, the hub where electricity is converted into the proper voltage before it is moved onto the grid. There is no fire inside the plant structure itself, Stone said.

"The safety of our facilities and employees is our top priority and we are monitoring this situation. We will provide additional information as available," she said.

Click here for more information about Plant Bowen.

An explosion on April 4, 2013, injured three people and shut down the plant for nearly a month. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited 17 safety violations and levied a penalty of $119,000.

On Oct. 27, 2015, a contractor working at the plant was hospitalized with burns received during an electrical flash while performing offline maintenance of electrical equipment at the facility.

Read Friday's Rome News-Tribune for more on this report.