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Locomotive stops, fire found on rail car in Deerfield

  • Firefighters from at least four departments responded to Keets Road in Deerfield, Friday evening, following a report of a railroad car filled with railroad ties on fire. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE

  • Firefighters from at least four departments responded to Keets Road in Deerfield Friday night following a report of a railroad car filled with railroad ties on fire. For a time, two hoses were used simultaneously. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE

  • Firefighters from at least four departments responded to Keets Road in Deerfield Friday night following a report of a railroad car filled with railroad ties on fire. Old Deerfield Fire Chief Chester Yazwinski applies water to the smoldering railroad ties. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE



For the Gazette
Monday, August 01, 2016

DEERFIELD – Firefighters from at least four departments responded Friday night to Keets Road following a report of a railroad car filled with railroad ties on fire.

According to Old Deerfield Fire Chief Chester Yazwinski, the locomotive’s engine died, forcing the train to come to a stop at the railroad crossing on Keets Road. The call for firefighters went out at 5:41 p.m. after an employee of Pan Am Railways alerted authorities.

“By the time the engine died, they found they had a fire,” Yazwinski said. He believes the two are connected.

Firefighters from Sunderland, Old Deerfield, South Deerfield and Greenfield responded and ran two hoses simultaneously. Firefighters continued to apply water to the smoldering railroad ties until around 7 p.m. Conway was called in to cover for Old Deerfield.

Yazwinski said the locomotive and its cars will be pulled by another engine to a nearby rail yard.

Yazwinski said he and his firefighters were fortunate that the fire occurred in the evening, not during the heat of the day, that the fire posed no hazard to life, and that the train stopped where it did. Had the train stopped farther up the tracks, the firefighters would have had no way of getting to the blaze.