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Firefighters investigate two suspicious fires near railroad tracks in San Luis Obispo

Posted at 7:51 PM, Oct 10, 2018

Firefighters are investigating after two suspicious fires broke out along the railroad tracks in San Luis Obispo.

The fires were reported around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday in the area where the railroad tracks meet Orcutt Road.

San Luis Obispo Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Bisson says two fires started about a quarter-mile apart from one another. He says there were no trains rolling through at the time, so firefighters believe the fires were caused by a person, and firefighters are treating the fires as suspicious.

Firefighters were able to put both fires out quickly. They say there is a lot of trash and debris along the railroad in the area, which caught fire. One fire burned on the north side of the intersection of the railroad and Orcutt Road. The other fire burned on the south side of the intersection.

“The fire to the north side of the tracks was burning a debris pile that also included what appeared to be an oxygen-acetylene tank that would be associated with a small welding rig,” said Bisson. He says that made the attack slightly more challenging, but firefighters were still able to get the fire under control.

Firefighters notified the railroad company since crews were working right along the tracks.

There was no significant damage, however, Battalion Chief Bisson says one commercial building in the area had some smoke damage.

Firefighters say it helped that they were able to get on the scene so quickly.

“People carry cell phones now, and those are a great quick reporting tool for when you see something that legitimately is in need of 911 service, so we always recommend that if something looks out of the ordinary, call, and we’ll certainly respond and determine if it is,” said Bisson.

Fire investigators are taking over the investigation. They’ll take a closer look at the debris piles that burned on Thursday morning.