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By Doris MacFarquhar

Lithium battery storage facility near Watertown NY on fire, Governor issues toxic smoke warning


Jefferson County official: No danger to public at this time

By Andrew Harris, photo from Jefferson County Office of Fire and Emergency Management

Governor Hochul issued this stark warning late today about a battery burning in Northern Upstate NY:

“A large battery fire in Jefferson County has caused significant damage and is emitting large amounts of smoke that may pose health risks. I have directed all necessary State agencies to provide assistance to local and county officials, and have deployed State personnel from the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control to the site. 

“I urge all members of the local community to follow public health guidance to protect themselves and their families, and avoid exposure to smoke or other toxins. We will continue monitoring developments out of Jefferson County and are committed to helping this community address the ongoing situation.”

The Sun reached out to local officials on the ground in Jefferson county to get more information. We talked to Robert Simpson on the county Emergency Mangement Incident Team for more details. Simpson explained that the lithium battery storage units attached to a large solar farm located on the outskirts of the village of Chaumont in the town of Lyme. The farm is operated by C-Tec Solar LLC, of Bloomfield Connecticut.

We asked if the smoke from the fire was putting residents in danger and Simpson explained that based on current wind patterns and air quality testing, there is no danger to local residents. A “shelter in place” for a one mile radius in still in effect.

Much like the recent wind turbine fire in Steuben County, fire fighters and first responders are set back from the fire letting it burn out. Several apparatus are applying water to the nearby electric transformers as they, “have lots of oil in the them and could explode,” according to Simpson.

Channel 7 WWNY has images and a full story:

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