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Trailer fire closes interstate for several hours

Bob Morehead

Herald Staff Writer

A blazing semi trailer Sept. 5 closed off the eastbound lanes of Interstate 76 for a time as crews extinguished the fire and cleaned up the mess.

The Norton police and fire departments got the call around 11:12 a.m.

“There were a lot of flames and smoke but the actual tractor had disengaged and had gone up ahead,” Norton Fire Department Lt. Zach Henninger told The Herald.

Henninger said he’d lost pressure on some of his gauges and checked behind him to notice a wheel on fire. This is when he hit his emergency tow release and called 911.

According to Norton Police Sgt. Ryan Burnette, the truck was hauling some sort of dairy product. What caused the wheel to catch fire was not known.

Police closed the eastbound lanes while the fire department battled the blaze. Henninger said once on scene, crews had the fire out within three minutes. The Ohio Department of Transportation was called in to assess the road surface and police opened up the berm for one lane of traffic as the debris was cleared.

“The police and fire departments did a great job with the safety of the cars passing by and getting the fire out quickly,” Henninger said.

Only Norton worked this emergency, bringing in a pumper and the tank truck. A mutual aid call went out for a second tanker but was canceled as the crews got the fire out promptly.

A semi trailer burns in Interstate 76 East Sept. 5 after a wheel caught fire.

Norton firefighters had the trailer’s blaze out within three minutes of arrival. No one was injured.

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