Crime - Sacto 911

Locomotive engine fire prompts health warning, cleanup in Roseville

After a Sunday morning fire in a train locomotive, Placer County health officials are telling residents in a Roseville neighborhood to avoid consuming foods from outdoor gardens and keep children away from areas coated with an oily residue from the fire.

The Roseville Fire Department said it received calls shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday, with residents in the area of Grape and Fig streets reporting heavy smoke in the area of the nearby rail yard.

Fire crews arrived to find a locomotive on fire, which was quickly extinguished. Roseville and Union Pacific officials said the fire occurred within the locomotive’s diesel engine, releasing oil, smoke and soot into the air over the surrounding area. Officials said the engine “malfunctioned” but did not elaborate beyond that.

Roseville fire officials reported that some residents in the area adjacent to the fire had medical issues and were treated and released at the scene. Two individuals took themselves to a hospital for follow-up care, officials said. There were no burn injuries reported.

There is a health risk, so we’re asking people in the affected area to avoid ingestion of edible items from outdoor gardens and to have children avoid the area until it is cleaned up. We don’t want children tracking it into homes.

Wesley Nicks, Placer County environmental health director

Fire officials subsequently determined that an oily residue and soot coated plants, trees and pavement in the area, prompting UP and environmental contractors to initiate a cleanup of the area.

The cleanup is being overseen by Placer County Environmental Health.

“There is a health risk, so we’re asking people in the affected area to avoid ingestion of edible items from outdoor gardens and to have children avoid the area until it is cleaned up. We don’t want children tracking it into homes,” Wesley Nicks, environmental health director, said Monday morning.

Officials also are telling residents to keep pets away from the affected areas.

Nicks said he’s hopeful that the cleanup will be completed within “a day or two.”

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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