A caboose that sat in the downtown Tracy bowtie area for several years was destroyed in a fire late Sunday night, the third fire at the railcar since late November.
David Bramell, a division chief with the South San Joaquin County Fire Authority said the fire department received a report of a fire along the railroad tracks just before 10 p.m.
Fire crews arrived to find a caboose engulfed in flames on the tracks east of the Tracy Transit Station parking lot.
“It was a pretty well involved interior, although it is a rail car comprised of mostly metal so it didn’t burn the car to the ground, but it burned the contents completely,” Bramell said.
Fire crews had the fire under control quickly using about 750 gallons of water to extinguish the fire.
The single railcar had been a fixture in the downtown area for a few years and had been frequently marked with graffiti.
After the fire was put out, crews found items inside that Bramell said were “consistent with what you might see if it was being occupied by homeless or that kind of thing.”
The investigation into the cause of the fire was inconclusive and no exact cause of the fire could be determined but Bramell said it is believed the caboose was being occupied and cooking may have been happening inside.
Checking fire department records, Bramell said this was the third fire at the caboose. Two fires had been reported on Nov. 28 at the caboose. Bramell said the Nov. 28 fires were not as large as Sunday night’s blaze.
“There should be no heat source associated with that car in its current condition and so any fire that occurs in there is more than likely an accidental cause due to the inappropriate use of the car,” Bramell said. “Due to the amount of fire involvement finding any evidence that would allow you to arrive at a sole determinate is difficult.”
No one was reported injured in the fire and the fire was contained to just the rail car.
Bramell said the fire departments investigation into the fire is over and the railroad company removed the remains of the burned railcar during the week.
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