New Waverly firefighters this week averted what could have been a dangerous situation with an 18-wheeler truck fire on I-45 just south of FM 1375.
Firefighters arrived on the scene before noon on Tuesday to find the truck, hauling several thousand gallons of used motor oil, spewing black smoke. According to a department spokesperson the truck’s cargo area was not on fire, but had the blaze had the potential to spread. The truck’s safety relief valve kicked in, venting excess pressure in the tank.
Firefighters immediately began to cool the tank while applying water and firefighting foam to the fire itself. The fire was quickly extinguished, preventing what could have a catastrophic failure of the tank had the fire continued to grow.
Traffic was shut down on both I-45 and the feeder road until the blaze was controlled. Department of Public Safety troopers were able to open one southbound lane, avoiding a total shutdown of the interstate.
Incident Commander Steven Billnoske said although the fire was extinguished almost immediately, crews continued cooling the tank until it was deemed safe. He said the fire was under control within 10 minutes of the initial 911 call and fire crews released the scene to DPS and TXDOT by 12:45 pm. – Information courtesy of New Waverly Fire Department