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Arson possible cause of trestle fire

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JIM WILLIAMS
Ellis County Press

WILMER - Curtis Hall, assistant chief of the Wilmer Fire Department, said arson was said to be the possible cause of the Monday afternoon fire, causing two firefighters to go down and burning a trestle.

James Renfro, assistant chief of Dallas County Fire and Rescue, suffered a heart attack on the scene.

Hall said Renfro was transported by a LifeStar helicopter to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where he was pronounced dead.

Ramika Moreno, a Wilmer firefighter, suffered from heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.

Moreno was taken by a Ferris Fire Deparment ambulance to the Lancaster hospital.

'The trestle looked like a complete loss,' Hall said after reviewing the structure Tuesday.

After closing railroad traffic Monday, he said railroad personnel was going to repair the trestle. Train traffic could reopen as early as today.

'They're going to replace what they have to and reuse the trestle,' Hall said.

He said a new trestle would later be built.

Hall said fire ignition was at the trestle in a wooded area near the Ellis/Dallas Counties line and city of Ferris.

He said Eddie Duran, Ferris Fire Department chief, said the blaze appeared to to be the result of arson.

'You'd have to talk with him [Duran] to be sure,' Hall said.

Duran could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Hall said fire trucks didn't have access to the blaze.

'We had to lay hoses through the woods,' he said. 'Then railroad people came out there with two bulldozers and made a road.'

Wilmer Mayor Eugene Lowe is acting chief for the Wilmer Fire Department.

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