UPDATE: Kent State power plant fire out; cause under investigation

Grace Murray

Firefighters from eight departments, including Kent, Stow and Hudson, responded to a Level 2 structural fire that broke out late Thursday night at the Kent State Power Plant.

Eric Mansfield, executive director of university media relations, said the cause of the fire is unknown, but it did not result from Thursday night’s storm.

“The suppression unit immediately went off,” he said, “which dropped CO2 on top of it. Then, the firefighters got there with the hoses and contained the flames.”

At the time of the spark, approximately 11 p.m., Mansfield said two people were inside the building, but both got out with no injuries.

Mansfield said the fire earned a Level 2 ranking because of the type of materials the power plant contains and flames were seen.

“A Level 1 is something that we believe we can handle on our own, Mansfield said. “Two automatically requires additional aid […] and the other departments responded accordingly.”

He said the fire was originally reported by a Kent State police officer who ordered the evacuation of the Math building and Liquid Crystal Institute.

“For now, the other turbine is running effectively,” he said, “so we should have no power disruption to campus.”

Repair crews will be on the scene Friday morning to determine the cause.

Contact Grace Murray at [email protected].