Watson, IL -(Effingham Radio)- On 08/27/2018 at approximately 0131 hours, the Watson Fire Protection District was dispatched to Interstate 57 northbound at milepost 154 ½ for a semi fire. The caller was the driver of the semi and he advised flames were showing from the rear trailer tires. The driver attempted to attack the fire with a fire extinguisher, but was unsuccessful.
The first arriving Engine Company reported heavy fire involvement to the rear of the trailer and its contents. The driver of the semi was able to disconnect from the trailer prior to arrival of fire personnel, preventing the fire from spreading to the tractor. Fire crews stretched and charged a 1.75” attack line and were able to quickly knock down the heaviest body of fire. The fire had extended into the open top trailer, which was hauling scrap metal and miscellaneous items. The mixed load created difficult conditions for overhaul, however the fire was able to be completely extinguished approximately 35 minutes after the arrival of the first Engine.
The origin of the fire was in the right side trailer wheels/tires, however, due to the damage the cause of the fire is undetermined. The trailer was later removed from the scene by a tow agency that was contacted by the driver of the semi.
Watson FPD units were on scene for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Effingham Fire Department provided a mutual aid Engine Company for additional manpower. The Illinois State Police assisted with traffic control during the incident.
No injuries to any firefighters or civilians.