Monday, December 14, 1942 The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Page 8, col. 7

Oil-soaked rail bridge saved by firefighters

St. Thomas, Dec. 13 (Special)—City firemen worked with railroad firefighters for more than two hours, early Saturday evening, saving the high level C.N.R.-Wabash railway bridge, on the northwest outskirts of the city, from serious damage by fire caused when a large quantity of crude oil, which had escaped from a tank car, ignited.

The oil escapes from the tank car Saturday morning when the car, standing in part of a train on the bridge, was damaged by a locomotive. A spark from a locomotive is believed to have ignited then oil several hours later.

For an hour or more fire raged over an extensive area, the oil having spread down the bridge steelwork and stone abutments and along the banks and frozen surface of Kettle Creek. Great clouds of dense black smoke rolled up from the deep ravine over the city. Before the fierce fire was extinguished, about 80 wooden ties in the bridge had been destroyed.

City firemen had to lay more than 2,500 feet of hose in order to get water to the bridge area from city hydrants. Maintenance of way men worked until early this morning repairing the bridge damage, and at 3.30 a.m. trains were again moving over the bridge. It was a day of double trouble on the railway division. While the fire under the big bridge was being combatted, word came that a freight locomotive was derailed at Delhi.

Railways: C.N.Rys., Wab.Rd.

Stations: Delhi, St. Thomas