Claremore Daily Progress

May 16, 2013

Firefighters battle BNSF train engine fire

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

VERDIGRIS —

Commuters contacted authorities after spotting a train fire Thursday morning near Catoosa.

The Catoosa Fire Department was dispatched at approximately 6:55 a.m. on reports that the engine of a BNSF train was on fire.

The train was traveling north on the BNSF line headed to Springfield, Mo. then on to Memphis, Tenn.

Officials determined it would be easier to fight the fire if the train were to stop in Verdigris, according to Verdigris Fire Chief Mike Shaffer.

Verdigris fire and police were dispatched to the scene at the intersection of Franklin Road and Highway 66.

Verdigris and Catoosa firefighters promptly boarded BNSF Engine 6734 upon arrival.

“The blower motor in the engine department caught fire,” said BNSF Road Foreman Johnny Holmes.

The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined, he added.

The electrical fire required approximately 600 amps of electricity to be disconnected before firemen could extinguish the fire, according to Shaffer.

BNSF officials report the train will continue in route to Memphis.

Normally up to four engines are used to pull the 6,500-foot train hauling various items, according to officials.

At the time of the fire one of the front engines was not in service and this pull engine will be used to replace the burnt engine, allowing the train to continue operations. 

No injuries were reported.