Firefighters received a 15-minute warning on a fire coming their way Wednesday morning.
Cascade Locks firefighters, with help from other agencies, quelled a fire on a railcar carrying garbage.
Damage in the fire was limited to holes punched in the top and sides of a steel container containing garbage headed east to Arlington.
Responders sprayed 1,000 gallons of water and foam into the container, according to Cascade Locks Fire Capt. John Logan.
The department got the call at about 9:45 a.m. from Union Pacific’s dispatch center saying that a east-bound rolling train was in the Warrendale area and coming toward Cascade Locks, with smoke showing from the upper of two containers stacked on a railcar.
Responders used ladders to get on top of the containers; the garbage remained inside the container. Logan said the cause of the fire was likely spontaneous combustion, but no determination has been made.
Responders included Firefighter EMT Tom Calley, firefighter paramedic Tessie Adams, and Logan, from Cascade Locks, Stevenson Fire Department and West Side Fire District.
West Side’s Capt. Willie Ishizaka brought his department’s piercing nozzle to help attack the fire. The nozzle is about four inches wide at its beveled point and is used to puncture steel. Ishizaka poked about four holes in the container in order to apply water and foam. No one was injured in the incident.
The local response took about 90 minutes; the container is owned by Waste Management, which contracts with cities, counties and other jurisdictions to collect and dispose of regionally-generated trash in Arlington in the east Columbia River gorge.
“We got it contained until it was safe for the train to proceed to Arlington, where they were they would be able to pull it (the garbage) out and make sure it was safe to dispose of,” Logan said.