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Fire smolders for hours at Robert Moses Power Plant

A fire in one of the 13 hydroelectric power generating units at the Robert Moses Power Plant in Lewiston started early Thursday afternoon and smoldered for hours, but the plant remained in operation, New York Power Authority officials said.

Black smoke began pouring out of a vent by “Unit 2” at about 1 p.m., and police and firefighters were summoned shortly before 1:30 p.m.

But it wasn’t until later in the afternoon, around 3:30 p.m., that firefighters prepared to douse the fire, after verifying that the unit was de-energized, according to authority spokesman Steven Gosset.

“No one was hurt, and the staff on four levels of the powerhouse was evacuated as a precaution,” Gosset said. “The main plant continues to operate and 11 of the 13 generating units are working and we are meeting our power requirements.”

A cause for the blaze has not yet been determined.

“We still have to get in there and figure out what happened and what is broken,” Gosset said.

Town of Lewiston police responded to the hydroelectric power facility along with Upper Mountain Fire Company and, as a precaution, members of the Sanborn Fire Company, authorities said.