Pennsylvania Responds to Fire in Coal Mine in Washington County

Personnel from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Bureau of Deep Mine Safety have responded to a fire at Eighty-Four Mining Co.'s Mine No. 84 in South Strabane Township, Washington County.

The mine was evacuated Jan 6 after a fire broke out in part of the coal conveyor belt, causing one of the carbon monoxide detectors to sound.

All personnel in the mine, except for DEP Deep Mine Safety and coal company staff trained in mine rescue and fighting fires, were evacuated safely.

"Our biggest concern is to get the fire put out as quickly as possible and to make sure those inside the mine fighting the fire are safe," said DEP Secretary David E. Hess. "DEP is not aware of any injuries at this time, but we are working with Eighty-Four Mining to have the rescue and fire-fighting staff and equipment needed on site."

Two DEP mine inspectors were already on-site conducting standard inspections when the carbon monoxide alarms went off. DEP's Bureau of Deep Mine Safety sent a rescue truck and bituminous mine rescue employees to the site as a precaution. DEP's Southwest Regional Response Team provided air-quality monitoring and logistical support as well.

Mine No. 84 is a longwall, bituminous coal operation located less than 10 miles east of the borough of Washington.

The fire broke out in a section of the mine that is under Amwell Township, about three miles from the main entrance of the mine. The Pittsburgh Coal seam is approximately 600 feet to 800 feet deep at that point.

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