Fire on truck carrying pool chemicals closes exit 24 in south Lincoln County

Published 9:35 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

A hazmat team from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality worked several hours in Lincoln County Thursday to clean up after a fire partially destroyed an 18-wheeler carrying calcium hypochlorite.

Exit 24 at Lake Dixie Springs just north of Pike County was closed for most of the day, said Cpl. Brandon Fortenberry with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Calcium hypochlorite is the main active ingredient of commercial products like bleaching powder, chlorine powder or chlorinated lime and is used for water treatment and as a bleaching agent.

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According to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality consumer guide of hazardous materials, calcium hypochlorite is corrosive and cause severe burns to the skin and may also present a fire hazard.

Fortenberry said the 18-wheeler driver was headed south on I-55 around 5:25 a.m. Thursday when he was notified of the fire under one of his two box trailers by a passing motorist.

The driver pulled over onto exit 24 off-ramp and saw the fire was coming from the wheel and brake area. He attempted to put out the fire with an extinguisher from his truck.

“Pretty much the fire was more than he could handle with the fire extinguisher,” Fortenberry said.

The fire spread to the front box trailer.

The front box trailer was fully burned, but the driver was able to unhook it from the truck and move the vehicle from the fire, Fortenberry said.

Firefighters from Pike and Lincoln counties responded and were able to save the second box trailer.

The driver was headed from Jackson to Lafayette, Louisiana.