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Power and steam for heating being restored after fire at campus Abbott Power Plant

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Power and steam for heating are being restored to University of Illinois campus buildings following an outage caused by an explosion and fire this morning at the university√ēs Abbott Power Plant, 1117 S. Oak St., Champaign.

All campus buildings, including residence halls, were expected to have sufficient heat tonight, though the system will operate at a reduced capacity for several days and buildings may be cooler than normal.

Full electrical power should be restored to the campus by Saturday morning, provided workers experience no unforeseen complications in their repair of damaged electrical equipment. However employees and students are being asked to limit power demands where possible.

Campus officials said Saturday classes will be held as scheduled and campus employees should come to work unless notified by supervisors.

Meals will be served in residence hall dining rooms.

The explosion occurred shortly after 8 a.m. today in a 13,800-volt switch gear panel, and the Champaign Fire Department was called to the scene at 8:23 a.m.

No one was injured in the incident. The fire was put out at about 9:45 a.m. No damage estimate is as yet available, and no cause of the explosion has been determined.

The nature of the damage to the electrical equipment required a full shutdown of all electric power either produced or fed through the plant. It also required the shutdown of the steam system and time was required to fire boilers and slowly feed steam back into the system.