Macon-Bibb County firefighters extinguished a fire in a railroad coal car this morning on the tracks near Norfolk Southern's Brosnan Yard in the industrial sector of downtown Macon.
When firefighters arrived off Ninth Street shortly before 11 a.m. no flames were showing but crews discovered smoldering coal near the bottom of the car, said John Malcom, district chief of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.
Some types of coal can spontaneously ignite and firefighters had to be careful to avoid steam escaping from the bottom of the car as they doused the coal with water, Malcom said.
Because of the flammable nature of the nuggets, firefighters stayed on the scene for more than an hour to make sure the fire was completely out, Malcom said.
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Before firefighters arrived Norfolk Southern had already disconnected the car from the rest of the train and isolated it on the tracks to keep the fire from spreading.