Fire at A&O Railroad produces heavy smoke

BUCKHANNON — A fire destroyed a shop truck in the A&O Railroad maintenance building and caused heavy smoke damage throughout the structure Monday evening.
The fire was first reported as a smoke investigation at 6:33 p.m., according to Capt. J.B. Kimble with the Buckhannon Fire Department.
“Upon arrival, we had heavy black smoke showing from all sides of the building,” he said. “Immediately with the heavy smoke showing we called for a second alarm.”
“The building was locked up, so we had to gain entry, which prolonged [our response],” Kimble said. “Due to the heavy black smoke we weren’t really sure until we got deep in there what was on fire.”
Kimble said every fire is a dangerous situation, but knowing this was a maintenance shop with vehicles and different flammable liquids — combined with the fact that firefighters didn’t know what was actually burning — made the danger more apparent in this case.
“A lot of stuff can go wrong and you can’t see it,” he said. “When you go to a maintenance shop, it’s 10-fold. You have an idea what is in there, but you don’t know everything.”
In this building there were about five different vehicles, including an engine. The truck that was on fire — an F550 Ford shop truck — was located in the center of the other vehicles.
“Once we got to it, we extinguished the fire and then ventilated the whole building,” Kimble said.
Firefighters were on scene for about an hour.
Along with the Buckhannon Fire Department, the Washington District Volunteer Fire Company, Adrian Volunteer Fire Department, Warren District Volunteer Fire Department and Weston Fire Department responded, along with Upshur County EMS.
Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department covered the BFD to help with other calls.
Kimble said about 20 firefighters from the BFD and Buckhannon Volunteer Fire Department were on scene for the fire — the largest turnout his department has had for several years.

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