Highway temporarily closed; no injuries reported; fire officials says brakes apparently locked
La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A fire on a semi-truck trailer whose driver pulled over in front of La Pine City Hall closed Highway 97 for a time Tuesday morning and threatened to spread to 49,000 pounds of compacted aluminum shavings, but first responders and fire crews kept it from reaching the cargo.
The fire was reported shortly after 9 a.m., and arriving La Pine Rural Fire District crews found flames and smoke coming from both rear axles and tires of the trailer, Captain Ty Miller said. The fire is believed to have been caused by locked brakes on the rear axle, with the flames then spreading to the tires, he added.
Before fire crews arrived, Oregon State Police troopers and Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies used fire extinguishers to help slow the fire’s spread to the cargo.
The Engine 121 crew made initial attack and knock-down of the fire, Miller said, adding that the driver had disconnected the tractor from the trailer load and parked a safe distance away.
Fortunately, La Pine Fire crews from Station 101 were available nearby and not on other emergencies when the fire occurred.
Highway 97 was shut in both directions temporarily while crews fought the fire. No injuries were reported to the driver or first responders.
“Had the fire reached the cargo, it would have been an extended operation, with a longer closure of Highway 97,” the fire captain said.