Substation Fire Sends Black Smoke into the Sky

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substation fireHillsboro, OR -- A fire broke out at a power sub station.  Fueled by mineral oil, black plumes of smoke blackened the town's sky.

The fire started at 12:45pm at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Keeler Substation.  By 5pm, firefighters had the blaze under control.

The flames were so hot and the smoke so thick, firefighters weren't able to move in to fight the fire immediately.  They waited for the mineral oil to burn off.

Around 4pm, firefighters from the Port of Portland arrived to help.  They smothered the flames using foam.  This turned the toxic black smoke into white/gray smoke.

BPA Spokesman reported that the fire started from a piece of equipment that regulates voltage failing.  This caused the reactor fire.  The black smoke came from the burning insulation oil.