Power Plant Fire Knocks out Power to Emmonak Homes

Area of Emmonak's power plants and tank farm. Image-AVEC
Area of Emmonak’s power plants and tank farm. Image-AVEC

Power was knocked out to Emmonak  AVEC customers on Tuesday after a fire broke out at the power plant there shortly after 10 am.

Local responders were able to address the fire and extinguish the flames but not until the fire heavily damaged one of the generators that are housed in the building. By 1 am, Emmonak volunteers and the community’s firefighters had the fire fully extinguished.

Three other generators housed in the building were undamaged, but it is unknown when they can be brought online in the damaged building.

The blaze resulted in all of the homes powered by AVER power losing electricity. The loss of power did not effect the school, water and sewer and the local grocery store, as they have their own individual power supplies.

Alaska State Troopers responded to the community to investigate the fire, but discovered no  apparent foul play in the incident. A Deputy Fire Marshal is expected to arrive in the community on Wednesday to conduct their investigation into the cause.

The Emmonak power plant suffered severe flooding in the spring of 2009. During that incident, the facility was inundated and one of the fuel tanks floated a distance from its original position.

In 2011, four NW-100 wind turbines were installed to supplement power to the village.

The community of Emmonak is located at the mouth of the Yukon River, 10 miles from the Bering Sea, 120 miles northwest of Bethel.