Saturday, December 5, 2009

Railroad Brings Fire to Ephrata

From the "Grant County Journal," Ephrata, WA

July 18, 1955

The Ephrata volunteer fire department had two fires delivered to them shortly after 11 o'clock Sunday night.

Two hot boxes developed on a boxcar of wood pulp and a flat car of lumber, 15 cars apart, while an eastbound freight was switching the Ephrata yards. The Great Northern freight crew did some fast switching, cut out the two cars and shunted them down the main line to a spot near the depot, just across the street from eh Ephrata fire station.

Flames from the overheated journal on the lumber car had licked up to chips below the load of lumber and were crawling up the side of the stacked lumber. "The fire was shooting six feet above the top of the car by the time we got here," a trainman said.

Employes at the depot saw the flames and called the fire department as the cars were brought down the line. The hot boxes were on opposite sides of the two cars. The fires were extinguished with only minor damage to the two cars, which were later sidetracked for repairs.

A passenger train scheduled for 11:15 was late. Otherwise, traffic would have been delayed for about half and hour.

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