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Investigators work to figure out what sparked Saco brush fires

OLD ORCHARD BEACH/SACO (WGME) -- Investigators are trying to learn more about what sparked a string of brush fires Thursday. They spanned 3 miles across Old Orchard Beach and Saco, leaving firefighters exhausted and some property damaged.

The fires are believed to have been sparked by a freight train. That has not been confirmed but it is the focus of the investigation.

An official with Pan Am Railways says the suspected train was stopped in Dover, New Hampshire Thursday night where it was inspected by the Maine Forest Service.

Pan Am says the train has been cleared but the Forest Service says that report isn't in yet.

Half a dozen forest rangers scoured the train tracks for the cause of Thursday's five alarm fire.

It burned down fences in Saco and exploded propane tanks in Old Orchard Beach, destroying ten trailers at the Wagon Wheel Campground and damaging six.

Wagon Wheel was hit the hardest, but manager Brian Kuchenbecker wouldn't allow media on the property to give owners privacy as they assess the damage.

Michael and Connie McCallum say they would be picking up the pieces if it weren't for good Samaritans.

Connie says when a man knocked on the door and asked if she knew her backyard was on fire, she had no idea flames were just 60 feet from their home.

A man battled flames while Connie watched his two young kids. And one by one, even more people pulled off the road to help.

Three hours later, fire crews finished the job.

The McCallums, both in their 70s, have already lost their home once to fire and say they're too old to rebuild again.

The forest service is handling the investigation. They've interviewed witnesses and are mapping the fire, determining how many acres burned.

The mechanical inspection report on the freight train is expected in the next day or two. If the railway is found responsible, they would have to pay local fire departments for their time and efforts fighting the fires.