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Human error cause of Colorado Springs' Drake fire

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm •  Published: May 30, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters preliminarily determined that a mechanic's error lead to an oil leak that ignited a fire and damaged a turbine at a major power plant.

The Gazette reported Friday ( ) that the mechanic went to change the wrong filter at one of three turbines at the downtown coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant. A Colorado Springs Fire Department duty report obtained by the paper documents that the shut-off valves had not been closed off and oil squirted onto hot steam pipes, igniting the May 5 fire. Colorado Springs Utilities spokesman Steve Berry said it was human error.

The newspaper did not identify the mechanic.

A city spokeswoman said the fire remains under investigation. The city-owned utility has hired an outside consultant to conduct an investigation.