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Crews respond to fire at We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant

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OAK CREEK (WITI) -- 50 people had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon, October 29th as crews responded to a fire at the Oak Creek We Energies Power Plant.

A We Energies spokesman says the incident began just before 3:00 p.m., when officials were working to upgrade two of four generators, and some power to the controls went off-line.

That meant fans cooling the equipment stopped working and hot air began to heat and eventually smolder nearby insulation. An alarm was tripped and firefighters responded.

"There was smoke being reported by some of our employees. We were able to get everybody out of there and at the same time there was not a lot of fire itself," We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said.

Power was not disrupted to any customers, and there were no injuries. Officials are still working to determine whether human error or a technical flaw caused this latest incident.

The We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant produces energy from coal.

Nearly two years ago, the bluff once resting against Lake Michigan gave way as We Energies crews were constructing a retention pond. A 40-ton trailer rested on the resulting debris.

No one was hurt.

In 2009, a handful of workers at the plant were injured repairing a silo when a fire erupted.

The plant will remain off-line as officials look into Tuesday's problem. We Energies officials say they are able to re-route energy to take care of demand.