New Orleans firefighters responded to a “small electrical fire” late Wednesday morning at the Sewerage & Water Board facility on South Claiborne Avenue, the second such incident in recent weeks amid ongoing questions about the agency’s performance.
The fire was reported at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the facility at 8800 South Claiborne Avenue, according to a New Orleans Fire Department report. Seven Fire Department vehicles with 21 firefighters and support personnel responded within minutes, the report states.
“Firefighters extinguished the fire quickly and remained on scene to ensure the fire did not extend to any other areas,” the report states. “The cause of this incident was determined to be electrical. Facility electricians and maintenance personnel are working with the NOFD to determine what triggered the electrical fire.”
The only injury reported was a civilian who hurt his ankle, but he declined to be taken to the hospital, the report states.
An overnight fire at the same plant Aug. 9 damaged a turbine that provides backup power to the pumping stations and brought the city to a standstill after Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the next morning that New Orleans would be vulnerable to substantial flooding from even simple rainfall. The turbine was repaired and additional backup power was added, but officials discovered a mysterious leak from underground fuel tanks at the plant the next week — raising further questions about the state of the facility.