Flying sparks blamed for fire near railway

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SPARKS flying from a moving train are thought to have started two small fires by the railway.

Firefighters were called to tackle the grass fires at the back of Glenthorne Road, Copnor, at about 3pm today.

The crew from Southsea used ladders to climb over a fence to get to the source of all the smoke.

Alexander Hay, crew manager at Southsea, said: ‘The kids were coming home from school and saw smoke at the back of the houses.

‘A lady did the sensible thing and phoned us.

‘They didn’t have to close the railway down because it was more than three metres back, but they commanded the train to slow down when it came past.

‘There was quite a lot of smoke.

‘It was the top of the vegetation that was giving off all the smoke.’

There were two fires on opposite sides of the railway and both were put out within 20 minutes.

Mr Hay said it was unlikely children started the fire as the location was difficult to get to.

He said: ‘It’s most likely a spark from a train. The vegetation gets dry and occasionally can catch fire.’