The four-alarm fire that shut down Metro-North service on Tuesday night was deemed an accident. Apparently workers at the Urban Garden Center, located under the Metro-North tracks in East Harlem, spilled fuel onto a hot generator they were refueling.

Generators are supposed to be allowed to cool down before refueling, because the fuel or gasoline can ignite a hot generator. WABC 7 reports, "Twenty propane tanks were found inside the garden center. According to the New York City Fire Department, the department had not issued permits to allow flammable or combustible materials to be stored or handled at the location. The MTA is calling for an investigation."

The Urban Garden Center is a tenant of La Marqueta, the market space/incubator managed by NYC Economic Development Corporation. Anthony Hogrebe, NYC EDC senior vice president of public affairs, said, "NYCEDC is currently supporting FDNY in its investigation of the incident. All EDC tenants are required by lease to adhere to all relevant laws and regulations. If anything is found to have been in violation, we will take swift and appropriate action."

The fire started around 6:42 p.m.on May 17, at East 119th Street and Park Avenue. It quickly built to four alarms, requiring over 150 firefighters. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the blaze had "tremendous amount of heat. So much heat that it actually bent the steel girders that support the overpass. You can see the main column itself is actually bent."

According to the NY Times, "At the garden center on Wednesday morning, workers loaded wooden planks and charred debris into a demolition truck to be crushed. A separate part of the garden center remained operational, with nearly a dozen chickens clucking in a coop and an array of trees and flowers crowded between bags of concrete mix and mulch. Workers declined to comment on the fire."

A worker at a nearby restaurant said he went to get a fire extinguisher, but it wouldn't help, "It was terrifying. We were all caught by surprise. It just got worse and worse."

Today, Metro-North service is on an "enhanced" Saturday schedule as MTA crews are working to shore up the tracks.

The agency said, "Crews have made significant progress on repairs to the railroad's Park Avenue Viaduct that was damaged by Tuesday's four-alarm fire beneath the structure. This has allowed us to bring a third track back to service in order to provide an enhanced Saturday schedule... Customers should expect delays and crowded conditions on Thursday and, if at all possible, are encouraged to work from home or find alternate travel plans."

Apparently the delays yesterday were "nightmarishly slow"; the Post says, "The MTA is keeping 30 extra trains ready to roll in various yards around the region and will send them out to pick up the slack during times when trains are overcrowded. MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan warned that trains will bypass stations if they get too crowded, so riders might find themselves waiting while two or three trains pass by a station."

MTA head Thomas Prendergast believes that full service will be back tomorrow. He also questioned the fuel and propane at the Urban Garden Center, "Should we have material like that stored under such a vital, critical piece of infrastructure?"