Transformer Fire


Photos submitted by Steve Matthey
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On Saturday, July 6, 2002, at approximately 6:35 p.m. Ameren experienced a transformer fire at its Labadie, Missouri Power Plant. Labadie Plant serves baseload, and contains 4 units, each capable of generating approximately 600 MW.

The transformer involved was the plant's Unit 1's GSU transformer which is a705 Mva unit, Westinghouse, built in 1968.

During the initial inspection, it appears the event was initiated by failure of one of the 345kV bushings. The bushing is a Westinghouse Type O.

The deluge system protecting the transformer actuated and controlled the fire until deluge system piping was broken by a falling insulator. The plant's Structural Fire Brigade finished extinguishment of the fire utilizing a 500 gallon foam trailer. The fire was declared out at approximately 7:10 p.m. The fire department had been called early in the event, but the fire was out by the time the first responding fire department arrived at the site.

The damage was limited to the transformer itself, some flashing damage to the roof of the turbine building immediately above the transformer. There was no fire extension inside the plant. It is estimated that up too 1,000 gallons of oil burned before
extinguishment occurred. There was one fire brigade member treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, but he was released back to work that night.

The plant has a spare transformer that will replace the damaged transformer, expected time till the unit is back on line, 15 days. Estimated loss at this point in time is $ 3 million property damage, $ 2million business interruption.