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Train in Vain

Fire stalls ''Harry Potter'' production. No word on what sparked a blaze that burned 100 acres in a Scottish moor

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Maybe it was all the fault of Lord Vol- er, He Who Must Not Be Named. That's as good an explanation as any so far for the cause of the fire that stalled production on ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.'' The fire broke out on Saturday during shooting of a scene involving the Hogwarts Express train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland. No one was hurt, but the fire burned across more than 100 acres of heather and trees on the Highlands hillside before firefighters extinguished the blaze, the Associated Press reports.

It's not clear what started the fire, though investigators speculate that sparks from the train's smokestack or its wheels on the track may have been to blame, according to Scottish press reports. ''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'' included scenes shot on the same railroad bridge. Producers did not say when the ''Azkaban'' shoot, which only started last week, would resume.

Originally posted Feb 24, 2003