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Canadian Pacific Railway cars catch fire while rolling through downtown London, Ont.

London Fire says no one is hurt after five Canadian Pacific Railway train cars caught fire while travelling eastbound through downtown London, Ont., late on Sunday night.

Multiple crews were called to the area of Richmond Street and Pall Mall Street, a residential section, at around 10:49 p.m. ET after numerous witnesses called 911.

The train was travelling on the tracks owned by Canadian Pacific and was eventually brought to a halt in front of an office building and an apartment complex. Crews were able to disconnect the locomotives so firefighters could put out the fire.  

“There was exposure to a building close by, but we were able to contain the fire away from the building,” said London Fire platoon chief Colin Shewell. “Additional crews arrived on scene and within an hour, we were able to put a good knock down on the fire and really put it under control in about an hour and 20 minutes.”

WATCH | Fire crews respond to train fire in London, Ont.:

Fire crews respond to flaming railway cars in London, Ont.

4 hours ago

Duration 0:51

Multiple fire crews responded late Sunday night in London, Ont., as freight cars burned on railway tracks in the area of Richmond Street and Pall Mall Street.

Canadian Pacific moved the cars to its rail yard on Quebec Street after fire crews cleared the scene. From there, firefighters continued to work to put out smouldering material. 

CBC News has requested comment from Canadian Pacific and will update this story when someone is made available. 

The cars were carrying old railway wooden ties, with no dangerous goods involved, firefighters said. The ties had been picked up from outside of London in the Strathroy area, said Shewell. Somewhere between Strathroy and London, they ignited, although it’s not yet known how. 

There were no dangerous goods on board the freight train when it caught fire, London Fire says.
There were no dangerous goods on board the freight train when it caught fire, London Fire says. (Sean Davidson/CBC)

“We will treat everything as arson until proven otherwise,” said Shewell. “These were scrap railway ties, so there’s really no dollar value on them. They were actually destined to be destroyed.” 

The investigation is in the hands of Canadian Pacific’s own police oversight body, he said.

Damage is estimated at $25,000 to rail cars and $10,000 to the office building used by Drewlo Holdings.  

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