Firefighters extinguish blazing locomotive in McKeesport
McKeesport and Dravosburg firefighters quickly and cautiously extinguished a blazing locomotive and prevented the fire from spreading to other train cars early on Tuesday morning.
An on-duty McKeesport crew and volunteers from Dravosburg's No. 1 company were dispatched at approximately 2 a.m. to the Delmer Road facility, where they found an engine on fire. It was attached to more than 80 cars carrying flammable liquid.
“I've been on the job for 20 years, and I'd never seen anything like that,” McKeesport Deputy Chief Ed Harmon said. “It was dangerous. We knew we couldn't rush in.”
The locomotive was charged with powerful electricity and had fuel tanks on both sides, Harmon explained. He said the situation needed fire-suppression foam, rather than a steady stream of water.
“The locomotive had to be shut down and isolated,” Harmon said. “We knew we had to bring other resources in, and we used our time wisely until they got there.”
Dravosburg crews used their equipment to get the foam onto the fire, and a crew from U.S. Steel's Irvin Works waited with backup materials. Harmon said he was impressed by firefighters' work, and it was a “miracle” that the fire didn't spread.
CSX spokesperson Kristin Seay said the train was traveling from Chicago to Baltimore.
“The train had four locomotives, 80 rail cars carrying ethanol and one buffer car between the locomotives and freight cars,” she said. “The fire was reported in the fourth locomotive.”
Firefighters were on scene until approximately 5 a.m., and normal train operations resumed by 6 a.m.
“The cause of the fire is currently under investigation,” she said. “CSX thanks the McKeesport Fire Department and first responders on scene this morning. Thankfully, there were no injuries.”
Tim Karan and Jennifer R. Vertullo are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Karan can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or email@example.com, and Vertullo can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Elizabeth Township promotes police veteran to chief
- East Allegheny officials discuss cost savings, turf’s status at workshop meeting
- Elizabeth Township drops its solicitor, names interim replacement
- Dump truck incident takes out traffic lights on Long Run Road in White Oak
- Police: Man arrested in McKeesport on stalking, other charges had loaded gun
- Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS
- Steel Valley to post teacher, administrator salaries online
- Duquesne Elementary School students join the ranks of junior constables
- Crowd demands answers from Steel Valley directors over playoff eligibility controversy
- McKeesport heritage center event recognizes famous black Mon Valley musicians
- Plans for $5 million update to Munhall’s West Field revealed