Firefighters battle three-alarm fire at Ameren plant

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By Gloria Lloyd
News Editor
news3@callnewspapers.com

The Mehlville Fire Protection District responded last week to what they eventually called a three-alarm fire at the Meramec Energy Center coal plant in Oakville, as seen in this photo from the Rock Community Fire Protection District. Ameren Missouri officials said the April 9 fire was minor and didn’t affect operations.

A fire at Ameren Missouri’s coal plant in Oakville last week was not serious and caused no lasting damage, the utility said.

Fire officials are not sure when the April 9 fire first broke out.

It started in the ductwork of a coal-crushing machine in the Meramec Energy Center, which is on Fine Road along the Meramec River. Ameren’s crew that handles such incidents responded first. Ameren called in the Mehlville Fire Protection District around 6:15 p.m., MFPD Assistant Chief Dan LaFata said.

 

From that point, the MFPD put out the call for a three-alarm fire to get backup from surrounding fire districts.

The Rock Community Fire Protection District alone sent four trucks to the scene of the plant.

The plant kept running during the fire, which was minor and did not affect the plant’s operations in any way, Ameren spokesman Brad Brown said.

“It was not a serious incident,” Brown said. “It was very small. The alarms are generally set by the fire department based on the size and potential for danger, and it’s a large facility. So the number of alarms doesn’t really indicate the seriousness of the fire… From the outside with all the fire trucks, it looked way worse than what it was.”