January 22, 2005
Spilled fuel ignites blaze on train
By ADAM JACKSON
Tribune Staff Writer
Flames erupt from a Norfolk Southern freight train in Osceola early Friday morning. Penn Township Fire Chief Mark Orellana said the flames were a result of spilled diesel fuel caused by a malfunctioning fuel metering system on the train. No major damage resulted from the fire, which was extinguished in less than 20 minutes.
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A faulty fuel system produced a scary moment for the crew of a Norfolk Southern freight train early Friday, when spilled diesel fuel caught fire in a locomotive's engine compartment.
According to Penn Township Fire Chief Mark Orellana, the crew of the westbound train noticed the fire while rolling through Osceola shortly before 6 a.m. Railroad officials then called the fire department to report the fire on the still-moving train, which was carrying a mixed-freight load.
"We caught up with the train between Ash and Apple roads," Orellana said. "There was a lot of smoke showing, and some flame coming from the top of the engine compartment."
Fortunately, the problem was not a serious one. Orellana said the fire had been sparked by a malfunctioning system designed to deliver fuel to the locomotive's engine. As a result, excess fuel began to spill within the engine compartment of the locomotive.
Orellana said the problem was resolved within 20 minutes, by shutting down the fuel supply to the engine and extinguishing the flames with dry chemical extinguishers. Because diesel fuel is not explosive, he said there was little danger to nearby residents.
Orellana said the train was able to leave the scene under its own power within two hours.
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