Fire Destroys Semi Trailer on North Side of Town


Published on June 29 2020 6:48 am
Last Updated on June 29 2020 9:43 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Fire destroyed a semi trailer hauling frozen pizza and pizza rolls Sunday night on the interstate on the north side of Effingham.


The Semi-Tractor Trailer was loaded with Frozen Tostino’s Pizza’s and Pizza Rolls and head left a factory in Ohio earlier in the day- the load was destined for Springfield Missouri with an eventual destination of Los Angles California according to the driver of the semi. Fire Chief Bob Tutko said that the truck driver said that he was alerted to the fire by a passing motorist as he was traveling on I -57/70 near the Route 45 exit. The driver said he noticed fire at the rear of the trailer near the right rear tires. By the time he was able to pull to the shoulder and stop the fire had engulfed the underside and rear portion of the trailer.

Tutko said that the driver stated the fire was too intense to fight with his fire extinguisher and decided it best to separate the cab from the trailer.

When fire crews arrived on the scene the trailer was already heavily involved in fire . Effingham Fire Crews were assisted by firefighters from the Shumway Fire Protection District who responded to the scene with a 2,000 gallon Water Tender and Firefighters – there are no fire hydrants located in the area on the interstate.


Chief Tutko said, "This was a stubborn fire due to the tight packing of cardboard boxes stacked within the trailer, both water and foam concentrate was used to reach the deep seated pockets of fire with little success, so the decision was made to have Heartland Towing and Recovery, pull the load apart with a front end loader."

Crews were on the scene for about 2 hours assisting with cleanup efforts, and Heartland crews had to use circular saws to cut apart the trailer and begin the task of removing the burnt product and the trailer.

Tutko said the damage estimate includes approximately $45,000.00 for the refrigeration trailer and the loss for the Frozen Pizza Products at $150,000.00- this is based on information supplied by the driver.

The Fire classified as accidental with an unknown cause in the area of the rear trailer suspension area. There were no injuries.