Late-morning fire burns railroad ties
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.
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.