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Southwestern Connecticut traffic updates from the staff at Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Fire triggers evacuation of Metro-North train

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Fairfield firefighters on the scene of a train fire at Fairfield Metro station Tuesday morning. Photo by  Cecile Girard via Twitter.

Fairfield firefighters on the scene of a train fire at Fairfield Metro station Tuesday morning. Photo by
Cecile Girard via Twitter.

A New York City-bound Metro-North train was evacuated early Tuesday morning after a report of a fire on the train.

The passengers were safely evacuated from the train near the Fairfield Metro station after a small fire was reported in the mechanism that connects the train to overhead electrical wires.

Railroad spokesman Salvatore Arena said smoke was spotted above the train at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday at the Fairfield Metro Station.

The train, full of rush-hour commuters, was evacuated and fire officials responded. Arena said no injuries were reported.

This is what happens when there's a "train fire" at Fairfield Metro. Photo by Erin Sullivan via Twitter.

This is what happens when there’s a “train fire” at Fairfield Metro. Photo by Erin Sullivan via Twitter.

He said the problem was isolated to the train’s pantograph, which connects it to the overhead catenary lines.

Passengers were put on another train to New York. Arena said other trains are able to bypass that track.

Assistant Fairfield Fire Chief Scott Bisson said three engines, two ladders and a shift commander responded to the scene along with the Fairfield Police Department.

When fire and police units arrived on scene, nothing was visible from the outside of Train #1531 that was parked on Track 3 in the station and was in the process of being evacuated.

Fire personnel determined that there was a fire on the top of Car# 8912 in the high voltage area. The engineer and conductor of Metro North Train #1531 lowered the catenary structures prior to fire department arrival in accordance with emergency procedures which allowed the fire to self-extinguish.

Fire personnel investigated a minor smoke condition inside the affected car and used thermal imaging cameras to ensure that the fire was out.

The Fairfield Fire Department Incident Commander worked with MTA and Rail Track Control personnel to transfer passengers to a second train and restore rail service as quickly as possible.

The affected train was transported by MTA personnel out of service and without passengers to the Stamford Rail Station for inspection and repairs. There were no reported injuries of passengers due to the fire or during the evacuation of the train. There is no estimate of fire damage available for car# 8912.

MTA trains were reporting delays due to the track being closed for approximately 30 minutes as the train was made safe and transported off site.

Bisson said, “Emergency responders worked closely with MTA officials to ensure the safety of the passengers and the restoration of commuter service both during and after the fire.”

The incident put a number of southbound trains behind schedule.

At Stamford station, the 7:49 AM was cancelled; the 8:09 was 26 minutes late along with delays on the 8:06 and 8:10 AM trains.

Waterbury Branch Service also experienced delays of 15 to 20 minutes due to late connection.

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Categories: General
Jim Shay

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