Historic Berlin station closed following morning fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Historic Berlin station closed following morning fire

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Crews are on the scene of a fire at the old Amtrak station in Berlin (Matthew Corsaletti/iWitness photo) Crews are on the scene of a fire at the old Amtrak station in Berlin (Matthew Corsaletti/iWitness photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
BERLIN, CT (WFSB) -

A historic train station in Berlin was closed on Wednesday following an early morning fire.

According to officials, the fire began shortly before 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

The train station, located at 51 Depot Rd., was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived. Roughly 50 firefighters responded. They said they had to deal with some significant flames and frigid temperatures during the fight.

The station, which was scheduled for renovation, has been closed since March and commuters who were using a platform outside to board trains.

Firefighters had to take an aerial approach to douse the flames on the roof.

“There was quite a bit of fire. There were building materials inside,” said Mark Lewandowski, Kensington Fire Rescue. “We do have a slight hazardous material situation. We’re working with [the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection].”

Lewandowski said since the building is old, asbestos abatement work was being done.

Demolition work was also in progress on the roof area.

“The fire was contained to the building itself, so it was just a matter of the amount of material burning inside,” Lewandowski said. “So we had the main body of the fire knocked down relatively quickly.”

He said they got the fire under control in about an hour.

According to the station's manager, there was no Springfield Line service on Wednesday. Riders were urged to go to New Haven to pick up the line from there.

Amtrak has closed the rails in the area and police also have road closures in place in the area of Depot Road and Farmington Avenue. 

It said train 141, the Northeast Regional service that operates between Springfield and Washington D.C., was delayed as a result of the fire.

"Out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew, train 141, with 108 passengers aboard, was held clear of the area until the fire marshal gave permission for trains to continue operating through the area, around 6:45 a.m.," said Chelsea Kopta of Amtrak.

No other trains were delayed. All trains will bypass the Berlin station until further notice, according to Amtrak. Debris has been cleared from the tracks.

No injuries have been reported.

Amtrak said the station has been around since 1900. It appeared to have significant damage.

"I think the building might be a total loss," Lewandowski said. "I think all that’s left now is the outside walls.”

A new station is being built across the tracks. The building was expected to be completed in May 2017.

Department of Transportation officials said that building sustained "some cosmetic damage," but the damage was not serious. The fire is not expected to impact the opening of the building. 

Crews from Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Cromwell and Newington assisted Berlin firefighters. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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