Engulfed semi prompts HAZMAT response

NCFPD responds to engulfed semi truck. HAZMAT responds to fuel spill. Valley News/NCFPD photo

A vehicle fire was reported through 911 this morning at 10:21 am on SB-15 just north of SR-76 in Fallbrook, impacting southbound traffic from the Valley. NCFPD was dispatched at 10:22 am and arrived at 10:31 am.

On arrival units located a fully engulfed foodliner semi with an attached tanker that had been carrying liquid sugar. Firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the fire; contain it to just the truck itself, and called in a HAZMAT crew from San Diego to help with runoff. Two saddle tanks had ruptured, dumping fuel. “HAZMAT assisted with containment and disposal so that the contaminant didn’t go into the drains and reach the environment,” said NCFPD PIO Choi.

The truck was fully engulfed when crews arrived but they were able to contain the fire to just the truck.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the cab of the truck. The trailer the truck was hauling was kept cool in order to reduce the likelihood of becoming fully involved also. The trailer had been carrying liquid sugar, but luckily was empty and had been pressure washed, reducing the potential for ignition,” said PIO Choi.

Valley News/Gilbert Gonzales photo. A shot of the destroyed truck from the air.

At around 11 am a sig alert was issued due to the heavy traffic and emergency vehicles that were and are still on scene, as the truck needs to be towed and HAZMAT is still on the scene.

Lanes 3 and 4 were impacted and lane 4 is still impacted at the time of this post.

There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is unknown. PIO Choi said it is under investigation. “So many things could have caused it: brakes, a fuel system breach, an electrical system short; it could have been so many things, based on the damage to deem one thing over the next. There is no additional information at this time

Julie Reeder
Julie Reeder