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Wind turbine catches fire in Worth County

It happened near the intersection of 410th Street and Vine Avenue.

Posted: Apr 28, 2019 10:52 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 12:29 AM

WORTH COUNTY, Iowa - A wind turbine caught fire Sunday night, according to the Worth County Sheriff's Office.

It happened near the intersection of 410th Street and Vine Avenue.

The Sheriff's Office, along with Grafton and Northwood Fire responded.

The fire destroyed the nacelle, which houses the main components of the turbine, as well as parts of the blades and tower. Strong winds also carried some debris out into nearby fields.

Mason City Deputy Fire Chief Aaron Beemer was not called to the fire, but says it's neither safe for firefighters nor is there any equipment available that would allow firefighters to safely put a fire out at that height, and is best to let it burn out by itself.

"They don't even put fire extinguishers in the tops of the turbine areas or the maintenance areas because they don't want their own maintenance people feel like they should or could fight a fire inside of those structures."

While the cause of the fire is under investigation, Beemer says there is a common cause when it comes to these kinds of fires: a faulty clutch.

"High winds are supposed to shut the turbine down to allow the wind to passs by it without it actually rotating. And if that clutch fails, it will continue to rotate, and that's what causes the friction, causes the fire."

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