Dallas, TX Railroad Bridge Fire, Nov 1929

Rail Bridges Burn And Stalled Truck Halts Pike Traffic

Teachers From Dallas, Football Fans From Fort Worth Stopped.

Woods Fire Starts

Countryside Lighted by Flare, Visible From All Over Dallas.

Hundreds of educators attempting to leave Dallas after the close of the Texas State Teacher's Association convention and an equally large number of football fans seeking an eastward exit from Fort Worth after the Southern Christian University game, found their schedules temporarily disrupted Saturday night when two Mountain Creek bridges of the Texas & Pacific Railway, nine miles west of Dallas, caught fire at 6 p.m. and burned until after midnight.

Texas & Pacific and Santa Fe trains carrying delegates from the local meeting westward from Dallas through Fort Worth were detoured over the tracks of the Rock Island Railroad, delaying schedules.

Automobile traffic was blocked for several miles on the Fort Worth-Dallas Pike when the hose company truck No. 3 Oak Cliff, mired as it turned off the main pike into a muddy road leading to the burning bridges, about half a mile north of the pike.

The riker truck of the Dallas fire department was called out and anchored across the pike to hoist the stalled vehicle.

Automobile travel was blocked until line two miles long formed in both directions.

Damage to the two bridges was heavy, but no definite estimate could be made by officials late at night. Vice President James A. Somerville said that one of the bridges was 878 feet long while the other, nearing completion to form double tracks over the stream, was 1,150 feet long. Both were destroyed because the roads leading to them could not be traversed by heavy fire-fighting apparatus.

A fire truck from Grand Prairie reached Mountain Creek a short distance south of the blazing bridge and then was almost burned up when it became stuck in the creek mud.

Section gangs were sent out to aid in saving whatever part of the new trestle they could. Dirt was piled up at both ends and timbers jacked up and thrown aside to stop progress of the blaze that did not stop before it reached the ends of the dumps on both sides.

Indications were that the fire began on the older trestle that has been used for several years and then spread to the one under construction, a few feet north. When Mr. Somerville reached the scene about 9 o'clock practically all timbers and pilings of the old bridge had been destroyed and these of the new structure were still standing. A strong south wind carried embers and sparks hundreds of feet to the north and set fire to several trees in the creek bottom, lighting up the country or miles around. The blaze and smoke were clearly seen in West Oak Cliff.

Difficulty in getting trucks and workmen to the trestle in time to save part of the creosoted timber that burned rapidly lost part of the new construction that might have been saved by railroad employes[sic] before the fire had gained such headway. An engine and crew ran down to the scene from Grand Prairie but unable to render any aid, it returned in a few minutes.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 1 Dec 1929