A roof fire Sunday afternoon at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard terminal in Alliance caused an estimated $3-million dollars in damage, but caused no injuries to firefighters or railroad personnel.
Alliance Fire Chief Troy Shoemaker says the fire was reported at 12:20 PM with firefighters discovering that the blaze was between the metal roof and a moisture-blocking membrane where the roof met the wall of the yard’s tower.
Chief Shoemaker says the flames did only about $100,000 structural damage to the roof with smoke and water responsible for the rest of the estimated loss.
The fire began near a drain on the roof and with the membrane damaged, much of the water firefighters put on the blaze came into the interior of the building, damaging sheetrock and insulation.
Fire officials estimated the smoke and water damage to sensitive electronics inside the building at roughly $2 million, but emphasized numbers would come from the BNSF.
Chief Shoemaker says Burlington Northern terminal staffers were able to get some very important equipment out of the building while the water didn’t reach other vital pieces – including some of the signal and switching equipment
Alliance and Hemingford firefighters extinguished the fire by late afternoon and cleared the scene about 5:00.
While working on the fire, the Alliance department also responded to an EMS call and both Alliance and Hemingford responded along with Bayard units to a fire in a cornfield in the southwest part of Box Butte County.