Passengers escape Madison Ave. trolley fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Passengers escape Madison Ave. trolley fire

WMC Action News 5 crews were on the scene soon after the call and saw MFD crews putting out the fire. WMC Action News 5 crews were on the scene soon after the call and saw MFD crews putting out the fire.
A viewer sent in video of the trolley engulfed in flames. A viewer sent in video of the trolley engulfed in flames.
This photo was sent to the WMC Action News 5 newsroom by a passenger on the trolley. This photo was sent to the WMC Action News 5 newsroom by a passenger on the trolley.

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Area Transit Authority and Memphis Fire Department continues their investigation into a trolley fire that broke out on Madison Avenue on Monday morning.

People who were riding on the trolley say they heard a loud pop from the front end of the trolley before flames consumed the interior.

MATA confirms six people and the trolley operator were on board Trolley 553, which was built in 1923 and refurbished in 1997.

Three of the trolley's four motors were replaced since last April and the axle bearing was repaired in March. The last preventive maintenance was performed on March 25 and no deficiencies were cited.

"We had to get out of there quick," said passenger Patrick Davis. "You see how quickly it burned up and how the damage is to the trolley."

MATA has not released any specific details about the fire. They do, however, confirm the fire happened around 8 a.m.

The Madison Avenue rail line is temporarily suspended and replaced with bus service. The Main Street and Riverfront lines remain in service.

Last November, a trolley burst into flames just blocks away on the same Madison Avenue route. Back then, passengers also said they heard a loud pop and then saw flames. The November fire on Trolley 452 was caused by an electrical malfunction.

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