A fire that was quickly extinguished in the lead engine of a freight train caused it to block Illinois 130 in Philo for about four hours Saturday afternoon.
“It’s 3 miles long, 212 cars,” Philo fire Chief Keith Schafroth said of the stalled train.
At 12:22 p.m., firefighters were alerted to the fire in the lead engine of the Norfolk Southern train on the tracks that run southwest to northeast through the town.
“It had basically put itself out by the time we got there,” Schafroth said. “We just had to hike a half-mile to get to the train.”
The engine was in the middle of the section between county roads 1800 E and 1900 E, he said. That’s between Philo and Sidney, so Schafroth had alerted Homer and Sidney firefighters as well.
“Fuel had leaked out of the engine, so they had to shut it down,” he said.
Firefighters cleared the scene within an hour and barricades were put up on Illinois 130 north and south of town.
By 4:15 p.m., a new engine had arrived to move the train and the road was reopened.