ROLL, Ariz. – Scary moments for drivers on Interstate 8 as several of them called about a train on fire Wednesday. As News 11 arrived on scene, Highway 80 had been blocked off by state troopers. The train car was still on fire and they continuously brought in more tankers of water.
Emergency crews were able to stop the train and begin soaking one of its cargo units carrying eight Ford pick-up trucks. News 11 spoke to Tacna fire officials on how they were able to stop the flames from spreading.
Donald Pelfrey, Tacna Fire Captain said, “We automatically dispatched for mutual aid with Wellton Fire Department, started putting foam on it right away, set the ladder truck up, start trying to knock the fire down.”
“What they’re doing now, is uncoupling the train, which is separate the train from the damaged auto-rack,” Francisco Castillo, Union Pacific Spokesperson said.
“Cut a hole in the side of the train to make entry, unstable to be inside, switch to defensive mode and soaking it down with foam now,” Pelfrey said.
The fire caused eight other trains to be delayed for a total of three hours.
“Now that the fire is out, and no danger to the public, the plan now is it move the auto-rack to the siding, so that the trains that are delayed to get through,” Castillo said.
Union Pacific investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.
“We will continue our investigation and then turn the train over to the railroad,” Pelfrey said.