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Weekend Fire At Deely Power Plant Destroys Storage Building, Plant Not Affected

CPS Energy
Storage building destroyed by weekend fire. Deely Power plant, seen in back of the storage building, was not affected by the blaze.

Investigators continued Monday to search for the cause of an explosive fire that destroyed a building at the CPS Energy's Deely Power Plant over the weekend.

Employees who were on duty at 1:30 Sunday morning reported hearing popping noises from the building at the South Bexar County power plant, which contained stores of chemicals such as denatured alcohol and corrosion inhibitors.

No one was injured, but CPS Energy said the 1970s-era corrugated metal barn is a total loss and estimates damage at $500,000.

CPS Energy’s statement said officials thought fire extinguishers inside the building exploded. The San Antonio Fire Department first said the fire was believed to be electrical has arson investigators looking at the scene, a usual procedure for fires of unknown origin.

The coal-fired Deely Power Plant is old and outdated. It is slated for closure by 2018. CPS Energy officials say the building will not be replaced.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.