Milford, Conn. (WTNH) -- A brush fire next to the Metro North tracks in Milford burned throughout the night and into the day Tuesday.
Firefighters say the fire is being fueled by discarded railroad ties that Metro North dumps alongside the tracks and that are soaked in creosote, which means they can burn for a long time.
Firefighters contained the flames to the wetlands between 95 and the train tracks, but at the edge of the swamp sits a few condos. The wind blew enough burning embers to set some mulch on fire in front of one condo, then that smoldered all night and spread into the wall.
"I just noticed as I came outside to go to work that there was some smoldering in the building," said Jeremy Hus. "I called the fire department right away, and luckily they got here fairly quickly."
His neighbor Gerri Wilson took matters into her own hands, taking her watering can into the woods to put out hot spots.
"Just a few of the embers. I don't want the winds to pick up," she said. "It's not really where anything is going to burn again, it just makes me feel better."
The fire damage could have been much worse. The flames started around 6:30 Monday evening. The smoke could be seen for miles, and it was in an area where you couldn't bring in fire trucks. It was also right next to the Metro North tracks.
"So at one point an engine company did get in a situation where we needed to put hose across the railroad tracks, so we had to shut the railroad tracks down," said Capt. Christopher Zak.
The trains were back on schedule Tuesday morning, but still smoldering nearby were the remains of what had been the boardwalk of a nature trail through the wetlands.
"The bridge is totally gone," said Wilson. "Fortunately it's spring. The trees will come back and not all of them were decimated."
Firefighters say hot spots will keep smoking for days, and they will keep an eye on them. Fortunately no one was hurt. For the folks who enjoy the nature trail, they say the boardwalk burning is the loss of a little known Milford gem.
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