Dangerous train car fire in San Luis Obispo

May 16, 2018

Multiple rail cars caught fire on train tracks in San Luis Obispo early Wednesday morning, causing a blaze that burned for several hours and possibly released hazardous chemicals into the air. San Luis Obispo fire officials say they are not ruling out arson as the cause of the fire. [Cal Coast Times]

The train cars that caught fire were full of used railroad ties, according to the San Luis Obispo Fire Department. Railroad ties tend to be soaked in creosote, a toxic chemical.

At about 3 a.m., the fire broke out on train tracks near Orcutt Road and Laurel Lane. The blaze continued to burn after sunrise despite efforts by firefighters to extinguish it.

Fire officials said they did not expect the blaze to be extinguished until mid-morning. Witnesses said the fire created a strong stench in the area.

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell stated in a tweet that there are no road closures, but drivers are requested to avoid the area of the fire. At least one train trip was cancelled as a result of the blaze.

There have been no reports of injuries.


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Do I have this right,the railroad company has several containers of a hazardous material, and knows to properly dispose of them would be costly. They decide to keep the items in insured strong steel containers and parked on their property, unsecured, in an area where homeless hang around. So that if by chance the containers caught fire the fire would be contained to the rail cars, and their disposal problem would be taken care of with little cost as long as the fire had suspicious circumstances, maybe even make a little when the insurance pays off, hmmmmmm