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Looking back on recent MBTA fires

Orange Line passengers capture footage of track fire
They were evacuated from the train and walked toward Wellington Station. (Mark Gartsbeyn / Globe Correspondent)

The MBTA has been the target of commuters’ ire in recent years. One recurring issue is fire.

Fires take many different forms: a motor malfunctions, the third rail smokes. There is not one common trait, other than the flames.

A track fire between Wellington Station and Malden Center Station on the Orange Line led to a partial suspension of service Friday.

Here are some of the incidents on the MBTA in recent years that involved fires:

■  July 25: A Providence-bound commuter rail train caught on fire, and the blaze was discovered when the train was traveling through Canton. The train was evacuated and no one was injured, according to Canton police. Officials from Keolis Commuter Systems, which operates the commuter rail for the MBTA, apologized to passengers for “the challenging commute.”

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■  July 9: Downed wires sparked a fire on an MBTA trackless trolley, according to a Cambridge police spokesman.

June 26: A fire was spotted on a third-rail insulator near Aquarium Station on the Blue Line, leading to replacement bus service during the morning rush.

■  June 11: A Red Line train derailed and struck a signal shack near JFK/UMass Station, which led to a fire. Red Line service continues to see delays because of the signal issues.

■  April 2: A fire on the tracks near Malden Center led to rush-hour delays.

■  Jan. 9: A commuter rail train parked in a South Boston maintenance yard caught on fire. A Boston Fire Department spokesman described the blaze as an “electrical fire in the internal space in the engine.”

The engine of an MBTA commuter rail line train was extinguished by Hanson firefighters on Nov. 29, 2018.
The engine of an MBTA commuter rail line train was extinguished by Hanson firefighters on Nov. 29, 2018.Hanson Fire Department

■  Nov. 29, 2018: An engine fire started on a commuter rail train in Hanson; about 175 passengers were eventually transferred to another train. The incident caused long delays for some trips on the Kingston/Plymouth line throughout the morning commute.

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■  Oct. 24, 2018: A fire between Andrew and JFK/UMass stations affected service until the next morning because power was not restored at Andrew Station until 6 a.m.

■  Oct. 26, 2016: Smoke filled an Orange Line train at Back Bay Station. Riders broke train windows to escape.

■  Jan. 29, 2015: A similar incident took place at Quincy Center Station on the Red Line. Passengers kicked out windows. “We could not get out, we could smell a burning smell, we had people looking underneath the car thinking there was a fire about [to] consume the car,” one passenger said.


Sean Smyth can be reached at sean.smyth@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @smythsays.