A massive plume of thick, black smoke was visible for miles in West El Paso Monday afternoon.
The fire that is the source of the flames appears to have begun when a freight train derailed in the Upper Valley. It happened shortly after 1 p.m. near Doniphan and Talbot (Transmountain). A witness at a neighboring business told ABC-7 that approximately 15 cars appear to be off the tracks.
The train did not catch fire .
A brush fire may have been started by sparks in the derailment. The fire reportedly close to neighboring businesses. One business manager told firefighters of six propane canisters on his property.
Firefighters from El Paso, and the West Valley Fire Department determined the train did not carry toxic chemicals. Canutillo Independent School District administrators ordered all air conditioners at nearby Canutillo elementary and Alderete Middle School turned off to prevent the smoke from going into the buildings. Service was restored within a couple of hours.
At least 18 units were dispatched to battle the fire. Firefighters put it out by early afternoon and no injuries were reported, though the train remained off the track, upright.