On Wednesday afternoon at about 1:04 p.m. the Mesquite Fire Rescue, Clark County Fire and Beaver Dam Fire all responded to reports of a semi-trailer on fire at the I-15 Exit 122 Northbound off ramp. Crews began arriving on scene within five minutes.
Crews arrived to find the trailer engulfed in flames while the cab and its driver were separated and safe.
At the time, the trailer was only carrying empty plastic pallets. However, according to Deputy Fire Chief Rick Resnick, the driver usually carries high-level hazardous materials. Apparently, when the driver picked up his load, his normal haul wasn’t ready so the company sent him with the empty plastic pallets. “The truck was able to take up to eight or ten placards so there’s no telling what he could have been hauling,” said Resnick.
“He went to pass a slower truck and picked up a piece of shredded tire which got caught between the axle and the dualies, began rubbing against the tire and ignited. He noticed it right away. He was able to pull over and tried to extinguish it with the fire extinguisher unsuccessfully. The driver then detached the cab from the trailer to prevent losing both parts and waited,” Resnick added. “The driver also said he was familiar with the trailer that had no known issues. This was simply a stroke of bad luck.”
Because of the quick action by the driver, emergency crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly without any damage to the cab. The trailer and its cargo was a total loss.