Train 'blazes' into Newnan: 25 ft. flames extinguished at East Broad

alt

This view of the burning CSX engine is from the Salbide Avenue bridge looking north. The second of two engines pulling the load of train cars was spotted burning as the train rolled into Newnan and under the bridge at Jefferson Street and Bullsboro Drive while heading south Thursday morning. (Photo by Bob Shapiro)

By JOHN A. WINTERS john@newnan.com A southbound CSX train rolled into Newnan Thursday with flames shooting out of its second locomotive before finally stopping in downtown. Newnan Fire Department firefighters spent about 25 minutes spraying down the flames, which reached 25 feet or more into the air. Witnesses described the fire as a geyser shooting out the top of the engine.
There were no reports of injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to a CSX spokesman. The train came to a stop just south of the East Broad intersection and alongside the Caldwell Tanks building. That company was evacuated, as were a few residences across the tracks, authorities said. Newnan Police Department officials blocked off intersections leading to the train crossing as a precautionary measure. The shooting flames died down about 10:10 a.m., when power was finally shut down to the engine. According to Battalion Chief Stephen Brown with the Newnan Fire Department, for some reason the engineer could not shut down the engine. "He tried to use the emergency shutoff, but it wasn't working," Brown said, adding that engineers and firefighters started to pull electrical power, while also working on the shutoff switch, until the engine finally bogged down. Firefighters used a mixture of water and foam to contain the blaze. Brown said the engine's fuel tank held about 3,700 gallons of diesel fuel. "There's no telling how long that fire would have gone on," Brown added. Later Thursday morning, train cars were uncoupled and pulled apart and traffic was allowed to go through the East Broad Street intersection. The engineer stopped the train Thursday in Newnan after being notified of the problem on his radio, said CSX spokesman Gary Sease. It was unknown how long the locomotive had been on fire. Sease said the two-locomotive train was headed from Atlanta to Birmingham with 74 rail cars. The damaged locomotive was swapped out and the track cleared by the afternoon.


More Local

Newnan Fireworks to light sky rain or shine

Despite morning rain, 4th of July fireworks show presented by Rotary Club of Newnan has not been cancelled at this time. Local storms are e ... Read More


SMA patient dies after defying the odds

A light went out in Newnan this week, as Matt Brown died early Tuesday at the age of 30. When he was 8 months old, Brown was diagnosed with ... Read More


Health Care in Coweta

Patients’ immediate needs dictate EMTs next move

Despite Newnan being dubbed a “medical mecca,” there are times when people must be transported to Atlanta for more specialized a ... Read More


Work to begin on Bullsboro intersection at bypass

The Burger King and Chick-Fil-A intersection of Newnan Crossing Bypass and SR 34 (Bullsboro Drive) in Newnan near Ashley Park will be expand ... Read More


UWG professor puts SPARK into helping teens

When Coweta youth go through the juvenile justice system, some are sent to a completely different kind of program – SPARK. “We d ... Read More

Rescue course to kick off animal control conference

Before its annual conference this month, the Southeastern Animal Control Association will be hosting a special training course for anyone in ... Read More