A crash gouged the locomotive’s fuel tank, causing a “serious” fire, authorities said.
The Bellevue and Groton Township fire departments were called to the Norfolk Southern train yard at about 9:23 p.m. Friday for a report of a remote-control locomotive on fire about 1,000 feet west of Bragg Road, inside the rail yard. No injuries were reported.
Bellevue Fire Lt. Tony Schaffer said once firefighters arrived, they found that the locomotive was partially off the track and the entire left side was engulfed in flames. The fire spread to the ground as well, alerting the firefighters to the diesel fuel leak fueling the flames.
Schaffer said the departments had to use a mixture of foam and water because diesel fuel was involved
“After we put out the fire, we found the whole side of the 2,000-gallon diesel tank was ripped open, from front to back, and midway up the fuel tank, and obviously diesel fuel was leaking from there,” he said.
Schaffer said the train yard is still investigating the situation that led up to the fire, but said it’s believed a crash might have caused it.
“The remote engine had been involved with another train in the rail yard just before the fire,” he said. “The details of that are under investigation by the railroad. At the time of the call, we just knew there was a fire. We didn’t get any more details.”
Schaffer said crews had the flames out within 18 minutes, noting the fire “wasn’t small,” but could have been worse.
“I’d say it was serious, but not massive,” he said.
The Huron County EMA and Ohio EPA were notified of the matter and a hazardous material contractor was notified to assist with cleanup.