SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Patriot Rail Company, the new owner of the SLGW (Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway), released a statement Thursday about the railway bridge fire that sparked near 1100 South and 200 West on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 7.
The fire was doused, but flared up and smoldered overnight and into the next day, Salt Lake City Fire officials said. It was expected to continue into Sunday, when special railroad equipment arrived to dismantle the bridge, they said on Saturday, Jan. 9.
“Patriot has coordinated multiple on-site meetings with the EPA to safeguard air quality as the active fire was extinguished,” the company’s statement said.
According to SLCFD officials, the smoldering continued through much or all of Saturday, and firefighters remained on the scene to monitor the situation.
“The Salt Lake County Health Department and the EPA said that they do not expect any lingering health effects from the incident,” the Patriot statement said.
Patriot said company officials worked with the Salt Lake County Health Department, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “to assure that all appropriate efforts have been undertaken to mitigate environmental impact and clean up the affected area.”
“Our first and foremost priority is safety of our employees and the community we serve,” said a prepared statement by Matthew Service, COO of Patriot. “We are fortunate this incident did not cause any injuries, and are grateful for the rapid response efforts from the Salt Lake City Fire Department, the Salt Lake County Health Department, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. EPA.”
Reconstruction of the railroad bridge began Tuesday, the statement said, adding the company “is coordinating with the SLCFD and additional regulatory offices on an as-needed basis to ensure the safety of the damaged area and the surrounding community.”
The bridge could be restored and operational as soon as 10 days, the Thursday statement said.
“We are confident we can begin servicing our customers in the near future due to everyone’s full cooperation,” Service said.
The Salt Lake City Fire Department is still working to determine the cause of the fire, the statement said.