Semi on Fire Sunday Night Near Watson


Published on September 18 2017 3:31 pm
Last Updated on September 18 2017 3:31 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Watson Fire Protection District was dispatched to a reported semi-tractor/trailer fire on Interstate 57 in the southbound lanes at milepost 150. The call came at 8:35pm Sunday.

The caller reported fire extinguishers had been dispensed on the fire around the fifth wheel area, however the fire was growing out of control. All occupants were reportedly out of the vehicle.

The first arriving Engine Company reported heavy fire in the front portion of the refrigerated trailer and the sleeping quarters area of the semi-tractor. Firefighters initiated an attack on the exterior of the trailer and tractor before entering the tractor to extinguish the fire inside. Due to the fire in the trailer being at the front of the load, a hole was cut into the side of the trailer to gain access to the goods being transported. This allowed firefighters to conduct overhaul operations in the trailer and put out remaining hotspots within the load of boxed goods.

The Illinois State Police, with the assistance of the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, closed Interstate 57 southbound in the area of the incident for approximately 40 minutes while operations were ongoing. Traffic was re-routed off the Interstate at the Watson/Mason exit and allowed to re-enter at the Edgewood ramp. Once the area was clear of fire debris, one lane of southbound traffic was re-opened.

Edgewood Bi-County Fire Protection District provided mutual aid assistance with a Tender. Watson FPD units were on scene for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes before turning the scene over to ISP and Tri Power Towing and Recovery. At this time, the estimated loss of the semi-tractor, trailer and contents is unknown. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians during this incident.