Fire under BART tracks halts service at Walnut Creek station

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Nearly 300 passengers were stuck on a BART train for at least 1.5 hours at the Walnut Creek station Saturday night after a fire broke out in an electrical room just underneath the tracks.

"We were exiting the Walnut Creek station and all of a sudden the train just kind of lurched and stopped a little bit," said passenger Brian Daugherty.

"It could have been a lot worse," said Contra Costa Fire Marshal Robert Marshall.

A lot worse because the train could have still been on the platform just above the fire. "When we got on scene there were quite a few explosions and pops and things going on," said Marshall. "That particular smoke is really nasty because it's all burning plastic at that point basically."

Passengers waited in the dark. "They thought they were going to have to get out of the back train, walk along the tracks and then get back up on the platform," said Daugherty.

Instead electricians restored the power. The temporary cut was enough to extinguish the flames. "We actually didn't even use any water in this fire," said Marshall.

"The BART operator on the train did a great job of keeping everybody calm and keeping everybody informed," said Daugherty.

Some people got word about the fire from ABC7. "We were not aware of the fire underneath the tracks until what we saw was on the Facebook Live," said Terri Daugherty.

"I was like well I don't see any smoke, I don't smell any smoke," said Daugherty.

There were no injuries reported and no major incidents among riders, though there were concerns that some people heading to the San Francisco International Airport would miss their flights.

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