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Morgan County brush fire delays trains

February 18, 2002

Morgan County brush fire delays trains



An Amtrak train and two cargo trains were delayed Sunday afternoon when a brush fire spread over about nine acres near a CSX line in the Berkeley Springs area, a dispatcher said.

The fire, which was reported about 4:14 p.m., occurred just west of a bridge that crosses the Potomac River from the Hancock area into West Virginia, said Jimmy Pearce, a 911 dispatcher in Morgan County, W.Va.

The fire was burning on a mountainside above the train tracks, Pearce said. The Amtrak train and two cargo trains were stopped about 4:48 p.m., Pearce said.

The trains were delayed for about an hour while firefighters fought the blaze, Pearce said.

It appears the trains had to be halted because of water lines that had to be laid across the tracks to fight the fires, CSX spokeswoman Kathy Brown said.

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Brown said it appeared another cargo train would be delayed Sunday night, although she was not sure how long it would be held up.

Firefighters had the fire under control by 7:30 p.m., but they were telling dispatchers that they would likely be there several more hours, Pearce said.

It was not known what caused the blaze, officials said.

Pearce said the fire was not expected to affect commuter train traffic in the Eastern Panhandle.

Five fire companies in Morgan County responded to the fire, Pearce said. Assisting were firefighters from Frederick County, Va., Allegany County, Md., and Washington County, Pearce said.

- Dave McMillion

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