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Major Truck Fire on I-81

Published: Dec. 28, 2015 at 1:21 AM EST
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A major tractor trailer fire had I-81 North closed near milepost 227 near Verona in the midnight hour of Dec. 28.

A truck's cargo trailer caught fire --not from a collision, but from some other cause.

The truck pulled over and, apparently to assist, another truck halted on the shoulder ahead of the flaming truck and waited with 4-way lights flashing. Flames billowed up from around the cargo trailer's rear loading doors.

Perhaps a dozen vehicles had close shaves as they used the left lane to inch around the blazing truck. Flames curled 10-15 feet above the trailer roof at times.

Firefighters arrived while police shut I-81 North down. After perhaps 20 minutes, crews were able to wrest open the cargo doors.

A column of smoke and steam swirled as flames were doused. By about 1:10 a.m., the fire appeared to be out with some emergency crews lingering near the burnt wreck.

Traffic was diverted through the Exit 277 off-ramp and then back on via the same interchange's on-ramp to bypass the fire scene.

At about 1:20 a.m., the left lane reopened to traffic.

The cause and cargo were not yet known as of 1:30 a.m.