Late-morn­ing fire burns rail­road ties

Westside Eagle-Observer - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE ECKELS meck­

DECATUR — A late morn­ing fire March 9 just north of the rail­road over­pass in Decatur de­stroyed sev­eral piles of old rail­road ties be­long­ing to the Kansas City South­ern rail­road.

The fire was part of a con­trolled burn by KCS to elim­i­nate dry brush near the rail­road’s right of way.

In ad­di­tion to a KCS main­te­nance crew, Decatur fire­fighter Eric An­der­son, who lives close to the site, was on hand to mon­i­tor the burn and keep it con­tained within the perime­ters of the site.

Heavy smoke drifted across High­way 59 for two hours, briefly drop­ping vis­i­bil­ity to around half a mile at times.

The Decatur Fire Depart­ment brush fire unit was called in when two piles of old rail­road ties, stored near the burn site ig­nited, threat­en­ing to in­ten­sify the fire. In less than 15 min­utes, An­der­son and one ad­di­tional Decatur fire­fighter had the fire un­der con­trol.

Dam­age was con­fined to the two piles of rail­road ties.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

An uniden­ti­fied Decatur Fire Depart­ment fire­fighter uses a hose from the com­pany’s brush fire unit to put out a group of rail­road ties that caught fire dur­ing a con­trolled burn near the Kansas City South­ern right of way in Decatur on March 8.

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