FIREFIGHTERS spent five hours tackling a major operation to ensure West Yorkshire homes were not without power after a blaze at Ferry bridge power station.
Staff at the power station had to be evacuated from part of the site while crews spent five hours bringing the incident under control after a faulty underground cable set alright.
The blaze had to be declared a major incident as firefighters had to work in a confined area in which they faced being exposed to up to 33,000 volts of power.
Crews from Pontefract, Castleford, Knottingley and Featherstone arrived at the power station, on Stranglands Lane to find thick acrid smoke coming from from a hole in the ground.
Keith Brook, watch manager at Castleford station, said: "It was necessary to form a co-ordinated plan of action. We could not just send officers down there spraying water everywhere in the dark with electric cables everywhere.
"It was a matter of fighting the fire back to a point where it was safe enough to send people in to attack it properly."
Carbon dioxide was used to bring the blaze under control. Staff at the power station raised the alarm at 5am on Saturday morning.
The incident did not lead to any homes being left without electricity, but it is thought power station owners Scottish and Southern Energy Plc face a huge bill to replace the damage.