Coal smoldering at power plant

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Firefighters continued to stand watch this afternoon over coal that has been smoldering at a power plant in Aiken County since Friday, according to South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.

As a precautionary measure, SCE&G called the Beech Island Fire Department Friday to help contain a smolder in the coal bunker at Urquhart Station.

There are no open flames at Urquhart Station; only smoldering in the coal bunker, a contained storage unit made of steel and concrete. Occasional hot spots are being doused and monitored around the clock to ensure that they are contained and controlled.

Smoldering coal in the bunker is not unusual, and smoldering issues are typically resolved as coal is moved from the bunker to a boiler to help generate electricity. However, an operating unit at Urquhart has been offline for about 10 weeks for maintenance.

The Beech Island Fire Department has called on firefighters from neighboring communities to assist it so that firefighters can work in shifts until the smolder has been eliminated.

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