Investigation underway after several train cars involved in fire at N.C. Transportation Museum

Published 2:17 pm Saturday, January 9, 2021

SPENCER — An investigation is underway after multiple train cars were involved in a morning fire at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

The Spencer Fire Department and Salisbury Fire Department were among those dispatched to the scene around 7:21 on Saturday morning after a call was placed to 911 reporting the fire. The blaze was extinguished by responding agencies and no injuries were reported.

“We’re thankful no one was hurt, no buildings were damaged and it is currently under investigation,” said Kelly Alexander, executive director of the N.C. Transportation Museum.

The rail cars involved in the fire are either owned by the N.C. Transportation Museum or by the museum’s foundation. The cars were located on storage tracks on the east side of the museum’s property when they caught on fire.

The N.C. Transportation Museum is a state agency, so the fire occurred on state property.

Rowan County Fire Division Chief Deborah Horne said that a joint investigation is currently underway. Horne said that the State Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the state fire marshal’s office and the Spencer and Salisbury Police are all involved in the investigation.

Horne said that no determination has yet been made about what caused the fire and could not yet indicate whether the fire was intentional or accidental. While they have not been formally connected by investigators, there were intentionally set fires two days earlier in Spencer and downtown Salisbury.

The museum’s visitation was not impacted by the fire.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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