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Brush fires blaze along rails in several Mon Valley towns

Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News - West Mifflin police block traffic near the intersection of Route 837 and New England Road near the Valley Hotel, letting only emergency vehicles access toward the fire scene Monday evening.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News</em></div>West Mifflin police block traffic near the intersection of Route 837 and New England Road near the Valley Hotel, letting only emergency vehicles access toward the fire scene Monday evening.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News - Lincoln firefighters head down Route 837 toward Dravosburg to help battle a major brush fire Monday evening.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News</em></div>Lincoln firefighters head down Route 837 toward Dravosburg to help battle a major brush fire Monday evening.
ERIC SLAGLE | DAILY NEWS - Firefighters from Glassport douse a fire along the Norfolk Southern line in Dravosburg on Monday afternoon. At least six fires were reported along the rail line between the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge and Coal Valley Road at about 5:30 p.m.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>ERIC SLAGLE | DAILY NEWS</em></div>Firefighters from Glassport douse a fire along the Norfolk Southern line in Dravosburg on Monday afternoon. At least six fires were reported along the rail line between the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge and Coal Valley Road at about 5:30 p.m.
- Firefighters from Glassport douse a fire along the Norfolk Southern line in Dravosburg on Monday afternoon. At least six fires were reported along the rail line between the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge and Coal Valley Road at about 5:30 p.m.
Firefighters from Glassport douse a fire along the Norfolk Southern line in Dravosburg on Monday afternoon. At least six fires were reported along the rail line between the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge and Coal Valley Road at about 5:30 p.m.

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By Michael Divittorio and Eric Slagle
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 4:01 a.m.
 

Firefighters from several communities responded to multiple brush fires along Norfolk Southern train tracks from Dravosburg to West Mifflin on Monday evening.

At least six fires were reported on the embankment in Dravosburg and West Mifflin. White smoke filled that section of the Mon Valley.

“Service on that line was not disrupted,” Norfolk Southern public relations manager Dave Pidgeon said.

The fires could be seen along the railroad tracks between the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge and Coal Valley Road shortly before 5:30 p.m.

Glassport fire Chief Wayne Lewis said a hot wheel on a passing train may have sparked the blazes.

Pidgeon said the fires are under investigation.

First responders from Glassport doused two of the hot spots just below the bridge in Dravosburg before moving to other spots farther south down the line.

Dravosburg firefighters said the small brush fires spread from the borough toward Clairton.

Route 837 was closed to traffic until about 7 p.m. West Mifflin and Clairton police directed traffic near the intersection of Route 837 and New England Road near the Valley Hotel, allowing only emergency vehicles onto the state road.

Fishermen along the Monongahela River in Glassport said they could see smoke through the trees downstream across the river.

Clairton, Jefferson Hills, Duquesne and West Mifflin firefighters and the Salvation Army also responded.

Firefighters began clearing the scene around 7 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Michael DiVittorio and Eric Slagle are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach DiVittorio at 412-664-9161 ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com. Reach Slagle at 412-664-9161 ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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