Metro-North service restored after fire causes evacuation in the Bronx

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jul 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-04 16:34:22-04


TREMONT (PIX11) – Metro-North service has been restored in the Bronx after a fire on the tracks caused an evacuation Thursday, according to officials.

The incident happened in the Tremont section of the Bronx, around East 175th Street, after the train ran over a mattress lying on the tracks.  It isn’t immediately clear if the mattress, which caught fire, was burning before the train arrived.

Passengers were evacuated from the New Haven Line train shortly after noon.

“We heard rocks starting to get kicked up,” said passenger Matt Williamson, “We thought that some kids or something threw rocks on the tracks, but it kept happening.”  After the train came to a halt, Williamson said, “Everybody came back yelling ‘Fire, fire,’ we broke the emergency door and got off on the track side, which was a really dumb thing . . . unloading right over 700 volts of electricity.”

Once they climbed to safety on the platform, he recalled seeing smoke billowing from underneath the back of the second-to-last train, or the front of the last train.

Train service was delayed as firefighters cleared off the tracks.  After residual delays for two hours, Metro-North officials say train service is back to normal.

Metro-North trains are operating on a Sunday schedule for the Fourth of July holiday.