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Amtrak Train Delayed After Firefighters Put Out Small Fire

Blaze discovered as train was at the Santa Barbara station

Santa Barbara city firefighters douse small fire that broke out Monday afternoon aboard an Amtrak train in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara city firefighters douse small fire that broke out Monday afternoon aboard an Amtrak train in Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers/ Noozhawk photo)

An Amtrak passenger train was delayed at the downtown Santa Barbara station Monday afternoon so firefighters could climb aboard to put out a small fire.

Santa Barbara City Fire Battalion Chief Jim McCoy said crews responded at about 12:45 p.m. to report of a fire aboard the Amtrak train.

Crews found light flames and smoke, and were able to quickly use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, which originated in a battery box below one of the cars, McCoy said.

“I don’t know why but they caught on fire,” he said of two batteries within the box, each about six times the size of a regular car battery. “It looks like it was a mechanical failure.”

The Amtrak car was evacuated by the time firefighters arrived, and no one was injured.

After consulting with Amtrak officials on the phone, McCoy said the train company recommended removing and then leaving the batteries at the Santa Barbara station to be examined.

The batteries weren’t essential and likely helped light and provide air conditioning to the car, McCoy said.

“Other than replacing the batteries, there was no damage to the train,” he said.

The Amtrak train was delayed about an hour but was able to continue on its schedule, McCoy said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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