Trailer fire leaves Interstate 84 closed

Written by Kelly Ducote, The Observer September 13, 2013 12:39 pm

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in a trailer early Friday morning on Interstate 84. (Courtesy photo)
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in a trailer early Friday morning on Interstate 84. (Courtesy photo)
 

A semi-truck and trailer fire closed eastbound lanes on Interstate 84 early Friday morning.

Fire officials from the La Grande Rural Fire Department say a truck owned by M & C Transport out of Athens, Tenn., was hauling a load of apples from Washington to Knoxville, Tenn., when the driver saw a red glow behind the trailer and stopped at about milepost 273.

Jim Voelz, with the La Grande Rural Fire Department, said they got the call at about 12:37 Friday morning.

“The right rear inside dual tire was on fire. (The driver) discharged one fire extinguisher and almost had the fire out,” Voelz said. “He got another extinguisher and was working on the fire when the outside tire exploded.”

The second extinguisher ran out with the fire still burning. That was when the driver unhooked the trailer from the truck, Voelz said.

La Grande Rural Fire dispatched one engine and one tender with six firefighters. North Powder Rural Fire District also responded with an engine and a tender, along with seven personnel.

Firefighters were on scene for about 3-1/2 hours, Voelz said. 

There were no injuries.

Oregon State Police had eastbound lanes closed near milepost 273 for about an hour and a half before they were able to open one lane.

Voelz said the cause of the fire likely was either a brake problem or a tire problem. The trailer was destroyed, Voelz said.

Contact Kelly Ducote at 541-786-4230 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Kelly on Twitter @lgoDucote.