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

Gross winner in Reebok Open

Coweta teenager a world-class CrossFitter

Coweta teen Morgan Gross is the top scorer in the world in her division in the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Open. Gross outscored thousands of Cross ... Read More


International literary group tours Moreland

Moreland played host for a group of Australian literary enthusiasts who are currently participating in the Southern Literary Trail. The goal ... Read More


Newnan location highlighted

Genealogical Society holds soft opening in new facility

After weeks of moving, remodeling and organizing, the Coweta County Genealogical Society held its soft opening this week at its new location ... Read More


Newnan Boys and Girls Club has Power of Words

By Wes Mayer wesley@newnan.com Two members of the Newnan Coweta Boys and Girls Club will be heading to Atlanta next week to show off their p ... Read More


First triplets born at new Piedmont

Until Monday, Piedmont Newnan Hospital had yet to see any triplets born at its new facility, which opened in 2012. That all changed when Mar ... Read More

Steakholders restaurant closes doors

Newnan restaurant Steakholders has closed, and its owners say they are thankful for the opportunity they had to serve the community. “ ... Read More