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Freight train fire under investigation in Newfields

NEWFIELDS – Firefighters battled a fire that broke out in the engine of a freight train near a railroad junction on Route 108 Tuesday night.

The fire was reported around 9:30 p.m. and appears to have started in a utility compartment in the engine, said Officer Guy Philbrook.

The engine and a single boxcar from Maine Central Railroad Co. were sitting on a spur track about 100 feet south of the Route 108 railroad bridge between Newfields and Newmarket.  A spur is a small inactive side track that connects to the main tracks.

Philbrook said the train was idling at the time, but it was unoccupied. He said it's not uncommon for trains to be parked and left running overnight.

The fire didn't ignite fuel on the train, he said.

"It just engulfed the engineer's compartment from below," Philbrook said.

Firefighters cleared the scene shortly after 11 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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