Press Release: BART Train Fire at Orinda BART Station

Posted: 24-Oct-2013

Moraga-Orinda Fire District
1280 Moraga Way
Moraga, CA  94556
Contact: Stephen Healy, Fire Chief; 925-258-4599
Release Date:  October 24, 2013

ORINDA - On Wednesday, October 23, 2013, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District responded to a BART train fire at the Orinda BART Station.  The fire was reported to the Fire District at 6:14 p.m. Firefighters arrived at the scene in less than four minutes.  On arrival, they found smoke and fire underneath the fifth car of a ten-car east-bound train.  BART and the Orinda Police safely evacuated all the passengers.  Firefighters contained the fire within minutes, however, mechanical equipment continued to burn for quite some time because it was in an inaccessible area underneath the car.  Firefighting operations were further complicated because  it was unclear if the burning equipment could still be energized. The Fire District’s  ladder truck had to be positioned on Camino Pablo, below the platform, to lift a BART employee and a Firefighter up to the outside of the train so they could  insure all systems were de-energized and there was a safe work  area. Once the car was completely de-energized, the remaining fire was quickly extinguished.

During the incident, a large burning semi-conductor box dropped from the bottom of the train car.  The box, weighing over 1200 pounds, made it impossible to move the car so  Firefighters and a BART employee crawled under the car to disassemble the box with a cutting torch and saws so it could be removed.  As of 2:40 a.m. the Moraga Orinda Fire District and BART employees were at the scene cutting and sawing the box apart, so the car could be removed.

A total of six (6) apparatus with 27 personnel from Moraga-Orinda Fire District and Contra Costa County Fire responded to the incident.
No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.