Short circuit results in arc flash at Oklahoma nonprofit institute
A Noble Foundation building suffered an electrical malfunction in May that caused the evacuation of employees in Ardmore, Oklahoma when the basement filled with smoke.
Adam Calaway, foundation director of communications, said the foundation’s facilities group had “worked through much of the night and determined the probable cause of the electrical malfunction to be a short circuit on at least one, and possibly two, of the main electrical feeders to the building.”
In a press release, Calaway explained the short circuit resulted in arc flash that caused smoke that left a coating of soot on all interior surfaces of the switchgear cabinets in the basement.
“The Noble Foundation team could not attempt to restart the power until all the surfaces had been completely cleaned,” he said. “Noble Foundation environmental services group spent the majority of Friday cleaning the area. Additionally an electrical testing and maintenance contractor was onsite to help access and direct the repairs.”
Power was restored to the building about 3 p.m. However, Calaway reported the building was not immediately put back into service until they checked the building’s laboratories and equipment.
Ardmore Fire Department had responded to alarms at the foundation. Firefighters remained on the scene for about three hours working to ventilate the smoke from the basement and assist the foundation’s assessment team.