May 5, 2014 8:50 PM by Greg Dingrando

Power plant fire forces large evacuation

COLORADO SPRINGS - The fire at the Drake power plant Monday forced an evacuation that included hundreds of residents and several businesses.

It was hectic because the boundaries kept changing and while it was voluntary for most, there were a few residents and businesses that were forced out.

Before the evacuations were called for residents and businesses had a front row seat for the fire.

William Craig saw it from the beginning, flames and all.

"They were intense. Flames were coming from underneath by the smoke stacks. Right where you see smoke it was 6,7, or 8 feet high," said Craig.

"I've lived here since the 60s and I've never seen anything like this around the Drake power plant," said James Butner.

American Electric CED was one of the businesses evacuated, and they had to pack up in a hurry

The guys took it in stride and tried to treat it like an unexpected day off, but said its going to hurt their bottom line.

jerry daveline/systems engineering company
"O its thousands and thousands of dollars of lost business to not be open today," said Jerry Daveline who works with CED.

One block over the homeless shelter was also evacuated and many of the people there are disabled. It made moving out difficult for some, but they said considering how bad things looked and sounded early on, it was worth it.

"O I thought it was gonna blow. Actually thought it was gonna blow," said Craig.

However, he was nervous about what would happen next.

"We have no clue if we can come back or where we're going to stay, especially the medical guys like me. Where we going to stay?" said Craig.

The Red Cross did open up its 8th street office as a shelter, but only a few people took advantage.

The neighborhood was back open by late Monday afternoon.


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