On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at 4:37 pm Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue (MCFR) was dispatched to a train car fire on a moving west bound train coming through The Dalles, Oregon, across from mile post 88 of Interstate 84. MCFR responded with two engines, a water tender, and a duty officer. The train had come to a stop near the 100 block of Tie Plant Road.
MCFR units arrived to find a semi-tractor trailer, loaded onto a flatbed rail car, with active fire inside the container. Crews were met by a Union Pacific representative to try and determine the specific contents of the cargo trailer. The initial action plan was to protect the containers adjacent to the burning car and to use minimal water on the burning car to avoid potential hazardous run-off from our hose streams. Hazardous Materials support was through the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office.
A few hours into the incident, Union Pacific’s hazardous materials specialist arrived along with HazMat Technicians from Gresham, and helped responders determine the trailers actual contents. Once confirming that no hazardous materials were present, crews could extinguish the burning trailer and its contents. The fire was under control approximately four hours after MCFR’s arrival.
Response resources included Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue personnel, Union Pacific representatives, and support from the HazMat Team from Gresham, Oregon.