Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Union Pacific train starts 9 fires, burns home of 92-year old woman

A Union Pacific train started nine fires along a 5-mile stretch of railroad in the community of Arvada, just west of Denver, Colorado yesterday. A spokesman for the Arvada fire department said multiple witnesses saw sparks from the train start numerous fires along the tracks.

Margery Kusulas, 92, was fortunate that her neighbor Terry Kemp was told about the fire by his daughter Jackie. Kemp ran to the house and searched inside until he found Kusulas and her daughter and warned them. "I was just going to keep charging in there until I found them. I yelled really loud-- 'You just have to get out, get out' " Kemp said.

Here is a video about the fires from KMJH in Denver.

It is unknown at this time if Union Pacific will pay to replace Ms. Kasulas' home and 100-year old barn.

The Arvada fire department responds to about five fires every year that are started by trains. Wildfire Today has addressed the issue of railroad and train-caused fires before, and the fact that proper maintenance by the railroads can prevent most of them. In fact it was just last week that a brush truck with three firefighters rolled over in Abilene, Texas, injuring all three and damaging their fire truck, while suppressing a railroad-caused fire.

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