Tractor-trailer fire closes interstate

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 17, 2002

WESSON — A tractor-trailer fire early Friday morning shut downInterstate 55 for over two hours as firefighters battled the blaze,said fire officials.

Wesson Fire Chief Randle Drane said an 18-wheeler from Indianapulled to the shoulder of the interstate just north of exit 48around 1 a.m. Friday when the brakes got too hot.

“His brakes got hot and caught fire. Then it caught the wholetrailer on fire,” said Drane. “When the trucks got on the scene itwas fully involved.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The truck was carrying shredded rubber, which made the situationeven more dangerous, said Drane.

“We treated it as hazardous material because of the toxic smokebeing put off from the burning rubber,” he explained.

Mississippi Highway Patrol officers and Copiah County Sheriff’sdeputies shut that part of I-55 down for more than two hours sofirefighters could contain the fire, said Drane.

Many motorists were able to detour around the scene by takingthe Mt. Zion Road exit and traveling through Wesson to theSylvarena Road exit, said Drane.

“We did let people through for a while after we got the fireout, but we had to close it again to get the foam off the road,” hesaid.

Firefighters were called out from Wesson, New Sight, StrongHope, Georgetown and Hazlehurst Volunteer Fire Departments. TheCopiah County Civil Defense also assisted in the effort, whichlasted until about 4:30 a.m.

“The trailer was a loss, but he actually was able to unhook histruck from the trailer, so he saved his truck,” said Drane aboutthe uninjured driver, whose name was unavailable Fridaymorning.