By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

BROOKLINE (CBS) — It caught a lot of attention in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner about 7 p.m. Wednesday.  A Green Line MBTA train didn’t stop when a trash fire broke out on the track, and was directed to move right over it. 

train3 T Train Rolls Over Track Fire

The Green Line train rolled over the fire. (credit: Bret Silverman)

“The T pulled up to within 10 feet of the fire, and I thought, ‘Well it’s not going to go,’” said Bret Silverman.  But it did just that as he took pictures with his cell phone. 

“It just seemed strange to a number of us standing on the sidewalk, looking,” he said. 

Samantha Desenberg ran from a nearby coffee shop where she was working and took her own cell phone video saying she was unsure what would happen next. 

“The train was going over it, and the flames were getting bigger,” she said. 

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

The MBTA says it was a minor fire that left burn marks on the track after being quickly put out by Brookline firefighters.  The MBTA wouldn’t comment on the procedure train operators follow in such a circumstance, but a spokesman says they will talk with the employees involved. 

train5 T Train Rolls Over Track Fire

Firefighters put out a fire on a Green Line train track. (credit: Bret Silverman)

Silverman says one was on the track giving directions. “He definitely signaled to the driver and waved his hand with some kind of verbal cue, ‘Come on, go,'” he said.

Comments (25)
  1. emom says:

    I have seen this before , many years ago. You would think there would be some kind of danger in allowing the train to pass over the flames. Atleast it was in the open air, and not in the tunnels, A fire in the tunnels is far wore . That closes down the stations near the fire and you have major delays, I remember that once going to school once and the green line had a fire under ground, talk about delays. So glad I no longer travel by rail .

  2. Pete says:

    Those trolleys are all heavy steel on the bottom. As long as they don’t stop on top of the fire and the trolley keeps moving swiftly there shouldn’t be a problem. So what are trying to do? Do you want another T employee’s life ruined because some twerp thinks he did something wrong?

  3. Ron says:

    Oh that’s wonderful! Just a few weeks ago during the evening rush, B-line service only went between Blandford St. & BC because of a switch problem. Once we got on the train, though, service was shut down for a much smaller fire. First they had to put it out, then they had to stand around looking at it, worsening service that was already in the toilet.

  4. mongo says:

    people with cameras constantly taking pictures of mbta employees and trains and buses need to get a freakin life.

  5. jak says:

    This does NOT suprise me at all. Typical MBTA stupidness!!!

  6. ckmom says:

    why didnt the guy on the track giving direction take the fire extinguisher from the train and put the fire out? I know its not in his job description but use your head! That trolley needs to be pulled out of service and inspected for damage immediately.

  7. pjw says:

    Seriously, this is news? Do you people know that the train is electric and the power comes from “above”. The people of Brookline really need to calm down!

  8. Ripitout ! says:

    Fires and railways go hand in hand. always have always will . grease, creosote, high voltage , friction , This is nothing new and its not dangerous. Its a trash fire, track side and tie fires are not uncommon either.
    its not dooms day. If there is a news story here, its about pigs who
    feel the need to litter Boston. Delay a train for what ? I don’t know the Procedure for the T , but anything else Highball,, What do you morons want more trains stopped for ( no reason )
    drop your stupid camera phone and stop being a sissy and go about your day . you Morons

  9. zaug says:

    If you see something, say something; we rely on your eyes and your ears……..

  10. Diane G. says:

    I Love it! Why didn’t the guy directing the train grab a fire extiguisher LMAO then it would of been, “guy directing train tries to put out fire fired for trying to do firemans job”because what if it were a bomb? What if it was a body. LOL What if an alien ship was using it as a diversion. Please What’s up with everyone? LIke the people with the camera phones are worried about security, they want to catch something good, like an explosiion or something, just like people who go to nascar, they go hoping to see a good crash. Then they cry, I wish I hadn’t seen that, then why did you look? why did you video it. Geez. Well now they are “witnesses” for the people on the train that see the news, realize they were on the train, and now all of a sudden feel dizzy, and swear they inhaled smoke and their vision is off.

  11. WALTER says:


  12. merlin215 says:

    Did the fire go out ?

    Amazing how this small little item makes the news . Bad day at the news desk ?
    A trash fire on a track and the train stops ? Geez ….

  13. Brian says:

    really? Well that was a waste or air time.. you call this news? How much you want to bet, if the train was held up for 30 mins to an hour, for a fire crew to respond and contain the fire, people would complain the train was late

  14. emom says:

    right , if the train was delayes, then it WOULD BE NEWS< cause someone would have made it news, by complaining. I guess some folks are just never satified with anything. reguardless if its news or not.

    1. Ron says:

      If it was delayed, especially a significant amount of time, it would NEVER show up as news. The media wouldn’t be able to trot out their tired lie of: “It’s the snow and cold’s fault.” Of course, it’s a delay that provides the media with proof of their mistaken belief that the T is blameless in their rampant failures, so….

      Hmmm, this is a tough call.

  15. andy says:

    Mr. Silverman who’s doing a great job over acting in this piece-instead of grabbing your photo and shooting the breeze with a bunch of dopes-no one thought of getting a bucket of water from the restaurant and putting out a very minor trash fire. The riding public couldn’t care less what the policy is-you had T employees on the scene folks-but if that train was more than 10 minutes late waiting for Brookline Fire to put out a very minor trash fire-heads will roll

    1. Ripitout ! says:

      yeah, instead of snapping pics ,he could have played Mr. citizen grabbed a fire extinguisher and returned to his humble hubble quietly as mild mannered Clark Kent. ……… and nobody would have been the wiser.

  16. Andy says:

    who cares?? Seriously? I’d rather be on time for work. This is non-sence trash talk. Fepending on the size of the fire, I’d think it would br FINE to ride over the fire. Those trollys can handle it as long as they dont stop over it, I dont care. Keep the service flowing!!!

  17. Ronnie says:

    Brett Silverman needs a life

  18. Pete says:

    Prissy little guys with cameras seem to be everywhere. Man up please. It’s a hard world. Steel doesn’t catch fire.

    1. Ronnie says:

      The media is doing what they love to do best, and over exposing this issue and trying to get people to hype up on it as well….. as if we don’t have other issues to worry about right now!?! Hold on, I’m still trying to buy a gas mask (incase wind comes over from Japan).

  19. Ripitout ! says:

    Good to see this pingback about The MBTA if true about ” no punishment “, then the MBTA deserves a round of applause for sticking up for their employees. Their job is to move trains , Not fall apart ( like some people )

  20. Aaron says:

    Clearly there was intent to rattle the general public for delayed service, they needed a good reason to buy brand spaking new trains during a state of depression. ;) Think about it.

  21. Leisa Devora says:

    Hey there! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

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