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Businesses closed, cleaned up following massive brush fire

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas -- Canutillo businesses are busy cleaning up following Monday's massive brush fire that may have been sparked by a train derailment.
 
Monday afternoon three cars from a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train went off the track and later a fire quickly spread.
 
Tuesday, business owners on Doniphan Drive, whose stores sit in front of the tracks said they were trying to get rid of the overwhelming smell of smoke and they were trying to clean all the ash that ended up inside their buildings.
 
"It's really bad," said Lorena Morales, owner of Peppe's Restaurant.
 
Morales said the El Paso County Health Department had come by to inspect the businesses and restaurants. The health department will have to give them the 'ok' to re-open.
 
Morales said they had to throw out all of their food.
 
"Everything, even the rice and beans, the salt, I don't have anything left," said Morales.
 
Even with the loss of hundreds of dollars of food, Morales said they're glad the damage wasn't worse and that everyone was able to get out safely.

"Thank God no one was hurt. It's all materials. It can be replaced," said Morales.
 
Morales said it will likely be a few more days before they can open.
 
Despite the smoky smell, other businesses were open but could not process credit cards because the Internet connection is down and is expected to be down for several days.
 
At a tire yard nearby, hundreds of tires were reduced to a mound of melted rubber.

At another property the flames had consumed several cars.
 
Fire investigators told KFOX14 they still have not determined whether the train derailment caused the brush fire.
 
It appears the BNSF was trying to switch tracks and one of the rails was broken.

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