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Train Causes Fires Along Railroad Tracks In San Joaquin County

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — Multiple fires burned along the railroad tracks between Stockton and Lodi, spreading close to highway traffic and several homes.

“I seen a whole bunch of fire; it was crazy, man,” said Edward Thurman, a neighbor.

Firefighters moved our crew back when a spot fire popped up nearby.

“I heard the flames almost crossed over 99,” said Bruce Burns, a property owner.

A few hundred yards away an otherwise welcome breeze on a scorching summer day fueled a growing grass fire. The wind also pushed a plume of black smoke over southbound Highway 99.

Not only was the fire close to the highway, but it was close to some properties.

Investigators say it may have been a Lodi-bound Burlington North train that may have cause the fires.

At one spot in north Stockton, PG&E power poles were smoking.

Several acres burned but in the end, but crews were able to get a handle on the fires before they could spread.

“Glad it’s safe. My renter’s a cop here in Stockton. Glad his stuff didn’t burn up,” said Burns.

Fire officials we spoke to say they’ve never seen fires started like this. Exactly how the fires were started remains under investigation.

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