DOVER (WJER) (June 19, 2023) – City firefighters had a hectic and early start to their day Sunday with repeat visits to Dover Chemical.
Captain Brooks Ross says they were first contacted by an employee at the plant around 5:20 a.m. for an unknown fire, so firefighters were expecting the worst.
“They called our station directly and told the guys they didn’t know what they had,” said Ross. “Our guys went down there,” he said, “looking for a big fire.”
Ross says it ended up being a transformer fire about 90 feet in the air on a power pole in the back of the plant. The transformer had just been installed about two months ago after Dover Chemical switched service providers from the city of Dover to American Electric Power.
“The transformer was exactly the kind you would see on a pole around town, maybe a little bit bigger,” he said. “It was on one of their large 68 kV lines coming into the plant.”
Ross says American Electric Power crews responded and handled the situation, though Dover firefighters were called back to the plant at 9:30 a.m. and then again at 11:30 a.m.
He says the fire department provided AEP with a special foam extinguisher for oil fires on that third visit.
“They had a pretty good-sized bucket truck they were using, so one of their employees took our extinguisher up and was able to put it out,” he said.
Ross says the fire didn’t spread beyond the transformer. AEP believes it was caused by a wiring issue or other type of malfunction. Everything was expected to be restored by Sunday night.
“It wasn’t anything really major, it was just a stubborn fire that didn’t want to go out,” Ross said.