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Cleanup underway after fire involving railway cars in Port Hope, Ont.

An incredible sight in Port Hope Wednesday, as firefighters fought back flames on a burning train as it crawled through the municipality. – Aug 5, 2021

Port Hope’s fire chief says cleanup is underway after a blaze involving three railway cars on Wednesday.

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Fire Chief Dan Smith said emergency crews were called around 5 p.m. to the scene at the CP crossing on Hope Street South.

Images from the scene showed large flames and thick black smoke rising from the train.

Read more: 2 arrested, drugs, firearm seized after pursuit ends with crash into bus shelter in Peterborough

Smith said the affected train cars were carrying hundreds of old, used railway ties which are coated in creosote.

He said there were no hazardous materials involved and there isn’t a risk to the public. No injuries were reported.

Crews quickly contained the blaze and prevented it from spreading to other parts of the train, relying on firefighters from the service’s three stations and utilizing its aerial firetruck.

How the fire started is not clear.

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Area resident Ryan Young, 34, and his eight-year-old son Nathan were playing a nearby field on Dorset Street East when they initially heard a train horn — nothing out of the unusual since he lives near the train tracks.

But an extended long horn caught his attention

“We heard the train whistle, looked up and saw a big cloud of smoke,” he said. “I actually thought a house was on fire at first. As he kept coming up and up that’s when I saw the flames coming out of the back.”

Young ordered his son to run inside their house as he called 911.

“It was crazy to see. Really thick, black smoke,” he said.

The Ministry of Environment Spills Action Centre was contacted to assist in the investigation.

Flames were seen rising from railway cars. Supplied / Sandra Rivard
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