Officials still working to determine cause of early-morning Westar fire

Inspectors are still investigating the cause of a building fire at the Westar power plant at 1250 N. 1800 Road, according to a company spokesman.

Early Wednesday morning, Journal-World news partner Operation 100 reported that firefighters from several Douglas County township fire departments were called to the plant shortly before 4 a.m. after reports of black smoke coming from a heavy equipment building.

As of about 4:45 p.m., Shane Batchelder, a Westar spokesman, said an official cause of the fire was still not available. Batchelder said the fire did not spread beyond the building, which he said houses large equipment like bulldozers. Nothing involved in the production of energy at the plant was affected, Batchelder said.

He said he did not have damage estimates, but that one bulldozer was damaged, as well as the building’s interior.

The fire was reported to be under control at 6:48 a.m. and the Kansas state fire marshal was called to investigate the cause of the fire.