Firefighters battling a two-alarm blaze at an Oakley tire company early Wednesday were nearly hit by a speeding freight train on tracks they thought had been closed off.
The train tracks are only a few feet from the back of the auto shop that the fire began in. The East Contra Costa County Fire District requested for train traffic to be stopped while they fought the fire. Fire management said that Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad confirmed the stop request, but three hours after the fire started, a train still approached and nearly hit the firefighters at “a very high rate of speed,” according to Battalion Chief Ross Macumber.
“We’re considering it a near-miss at this point,” he said.
“Engine crews were operating on the backside of the structure. The train tracks we were told were shut down, obviously there was a miscommunication or what not, and a train came through, full speed ahead!” explained Richard Bryan, a senior firefighter for the East Contra Costa County Fire District.