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Burning 18-wheeler produces explosions, large amounts of smoke near Liberty City

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:46 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:03 PM CST
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GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Emergency crews have extinguished a burning 18-wheeler along the Interstate 20 Access Road in Liberty City early Wednesday.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, law enforcement and fire crews were called to the intersection of I-20 and Old Kilgore Highway.

(KLTV staff)

The intense heat from the fire caused the big rig’s tires to burst. Explosions were heard from miles away.

“(The truck) has recycled batteries on it. So we’re dealing with battery acids.” said Chief Richard Sisk of Sabine Fire and Rescue.

“The metals on it that are inside that trailer are on fire. So it’s compacted in there. It’s really hot. It’s put off a lot of high heat. So getting in there and being able to penetrate that and get the fire out is pretty extensive. We’ve had to cut the side of that trailer to make multiple entrance points to put water on it.”

The trucker managed to detach the trailer before flames reached the truck’s fuel tank.

“That saved the tractor. It also saved us having to put firefighters at risk trying to save that tractor and causing more of a dangerous situation. The fuel tanks on that truck, causing it to get a lot hotter, a lot more extensive fire action that we’d had to have taken. So he did a really good job being able to disconnect that tractor from the trailer.”

Heavy smoke rose into the sky as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

“In reality, we got it out pretty quickly -- got it contained. With the temperatures so low, the water coming out of the trucks is creating a lot of steam. So it looks like it’s still on fire but it’s just steam coming from the water coming out of the fire truck.”

Sisk said the Exxon station along the access road was never in any danger.

Streets surrounding the scene were blocked off to traffic.

Fuller’s Towing out of Canton who is also a hazmat contractor for TXDOT is cleaning up
Fuller’s Towing out of Canton who is also a hazmat contractor for TXDOT is cleaning up(KLTV)

No injuries were reported.

Fuller’s Towing out of Canton who is also a hazmat contractor for TXDOT is cleaning up
Fuller’s Towing out of Canton who is also a hazmat contractor for TXDOT is cleaning up(KLTV)

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