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Fire causes power outage at MCLB

A transformer at a substation on Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany caught fire at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. As a precaution, the power supply to the whole base was shut down while officials worked to determined what caused the blaze.

A transformer at a substation on Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany caught fire at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. As a precaution, the power supply to the whole base was shut down while officials worked to determined what caused the blaze.

MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. — Officials at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany said power had been restored “to a significant portion of the base” at about 4 p.m. Monday following repair efforts stemming from a fire that had caused a power outage.

A temporary transformer unit at a substation caught fire at around 11:30 a.m., causing a temporary interruption in power. As a precaution, the power to the whole base was shut off.

By 3 p.m., only the personnel considered essential to the function of the installation remained on base. The remaining employees had been sent home on administrative leave.

Officials with the base said that personnel were expected to be able to return today, although that was not going to be determined for certain until the early morning hours.

Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Benjamin, the base’s public works officer, said that most of the damage to the unit — which was a temporary system due to be replaced soon — was from smoke.

The units were being switched to replace the former one with a newer model.

“We have contracts in place to replace (the unit),” Benjamin said. “We are contracted to do that in a couple of weeks.”

The temporary unit had been in place for an estimated 14 hours before the fault occurred. The majority of the damage caused by the fire is expected to be repaired in the next few days.

Most of MCLB’s key missions were able to continue immediately after the fire. Once the power had been shut off — which took roughly 20 minutes — it took five minutes to get the fire put out, Benjamin said.

Officials were still investigating Monday afternoon the exact cause of the fire. There were no injuries reported, base officials said.