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WFD battalion chief put on unpaid leave after breathalyzer at train derailment

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A top Wilmington firefighter has been placed on unpaid administrative leave after an incident this morning at the scene of a train derailment.

A city spokeswoman says Battalion Chief Jimmy Casteen was on duty at the Love Grove train derailment this morning, but then given a breathalyzer test and driven home. The city is gathering additional information and will meet Monday morning to determine a course of action.

"We take such situations very seriously and will take any needed action as soon as possible," Wilmington Fire Chief Buddy Martinette said in a statement. "The safety of our citizens and the credibility of the fire department are of utmost importance and we will act accordingly."

This is not Casteen's first alcohol-related issue. In December Wilmington Police arrested him for DWI. At the time, a city spokesman said Casteen was off work using accrued leave, because he could not perform his duties without a valid driver license. Today, a city spokeswoman said Casteen got his license back not long after his arrest and returned to work.

Casteen is due back in court next month on the DWI charge.

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