Tabernash locomotive fire contained
September 24, 2012
A Union Pacific locomotive caught fire in Tabernash around 1:20 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24.
East Grand Fire Protection District No. 4 responded to the fire, which was reported by Tabernash resident Gary Tabor.
The last locomotive on a coal freight train was spewing flames 20 to 30 feet into the air from its exhaust when Tabor reported the incident to Union Pacific, according to Tabor.
“It looked like a volcano when I saw it,” Tabor said.
The railroad company was able to stop the train before it crossed under the US Highway 40 bridge on its way out of Tabernash.
East Grand Fire as well as Grand County EMS, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fraser-Winter Park Police Department, responded to the fire, which was extinguished in less than 10 minutes.
No water was needed to extinguish the fire, which might have resulted from a leak in the locomotive’s fuel lines.
The responders allowed the engine to cool down while Union Pacific sent a high-railer, a truck that is designed to drive on the railroad tracks, back up the tracks to check if the locomotive started any fires next to the track, said Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth of East Grand Fire Protection District No. 4.
No other fires were started by the burning engine.
No one from Union Pacific was immediately available for comment Monday morning.