UPDATED: Firefighters Battle Brush Fires Along Railroad Tracks
Apr 14, 2015 01:17AM ● Published by Bill Gilman
Tewksbury Firefighters battled a series of brush fires along the railroad tracks near Shawsheen Street Monday evening. Photo by Rich MacDonald.
Gallery: Tewksbury Firefighters battle brush fires. [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
The blazes broke out around 8 p.m. at spots along the railroad tracks in the area of Shawsheen Street. The heaviest fire was located behind the Holt & Bugbee lumber yard.
According to a Fire Department spokesman, the fires were started by embers emitted from the exhaust of a passing Pan Am Railways train. The embers, which were the result of a carbon buildup, then ignited dried leaves and other vegetation along the sides of the tracks.
According to the spokesman, the fires spread to stacks of old creosote soaked railroad ties, sending thick black smoke billowing into the evening sky.
No injuries or serious property damage was reported. Firefighters were on scene dealing with "hot spots" until around 10:30 p.m. Similar brush fires were reported along the tracks in Andover.
Mutual aid from Wilmington, Billerica and andover provided coverage to the three Tewksbury stations.
The train ultimately stopped in Tewksbury and was scheduled to be towed Tuesday.