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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 18, 2014, 05:57 PM

False fire alarm near train tracks in Moorhead

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A scare Friday in Moorhead as fire crews were called to a possible oil rail car fire behind Target around noon.

By: Brian Abel, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A scare Friday in Moorhead as fire crews were called to a possible oil rail car fire behind Target around noon.

Luckily, no such fire was discovered.

But if it was would they have been ready?

The call came in around noon, when a citizen near target looked over at the railroad tracks, and thought they saw a fire.

As it turns out, it was just bright fluorescent orange flags blowing near the BNSF tracks.

Joe Gaughan/ Asst. Chief, Moorhead Fire Dept.: “Whenever they're working on anything out there they have to put out marker flags just for warnings.”

But Gaughan's crew wouldn't find that out until arriving at the scene, having left the station preparing for the worst.

Gaughan: "Til’ we get further information we're going to go what we call hot, or code red where we're going lights and sirens and we're going to respond with all the resources that we have."

And it could've been MUCH worse if the fire was real, as we all remember from the wild explosion near Casselton.

With the tracks from today's scare running less than a football field away from Target, and the 34th Street South Overpass.

Gaughan: "We'd have to close down or evacuate Target, and who knows how far back we'd have to stop traffic."

Gaughan says the department does prepare specifically for rail hazards roughly twice a year, with some firefighters training on their own as recently as last week in Hillsboro.

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