OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.-- A fire at Grand Coulee Dam injured one person on Monday according to Grant County authorities. The employee was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following the fire.
An employee from the Bureau of Reclamation said the fire happened at John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant. Workers at the plant pump water from Lake Roosevelt into Banks Lake. She added that the fire was caused by a switch gear failure.
A second employee was treated for smoke inhalation according to a release from managers at the Bureau of Reclamation. They also said all employees were evacuated from the plant following the fire.
Smoke could be seen rising from the plan according to employees. Officials said fire crews from Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Dam fire department arrived and extinguishes the fire.
The plant contains six pumps and six pump generators. Employees said at the time of the incident, four pumps and five pump generators were undergoing maintenance. The remaining units in the plant were not pumping water into Banks Lake or generating power according to officials.