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Tractor trailer fire closes down highway

SoVaNow.com / March 11, 2013
A tractor trailer burned violently late Wednesday night after a fire started at the rear brakes and spread to the rig’s cargo, fabric for baby wipes. The blaze closed off both lanes of U.S. 501 south just north of its intersection with State Route 96. Drivers had to detour on Route 96 through the Town of Virgilina to proceed north for a period of three to four hours.

The blaze started when the rear brakes on the tractor trailer overheated, with flames quickly spreading to the contents of the trailer.

Members of the Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department were called to the scene around 11:15, arriving with twelve firefighters and four trucks.

They were assisted by several local fire departments, including ten firefighters and two trucks from the South Boston Department and six firefighters and two trucks from the Halifax Volunteer Department.

The Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department sent ten firefighters and two trucks, and Turbeville responded with two firefighters and one truck. Midway came with four firefighters and one truck. Two North Carolina departments also assisted — Ceffo, N.C. and Woodsdale, N.C.

There were no injuries.

According to a report filed by Virginia State Trooper A. D. Dishmon, no charges were placed in the incident. Damages were expected to range up to $100,000.

Assisting with traffic control were other members of the Virginia State Police, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Department, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Chad Loftis, Deputy Emergency Services Coordinator. Also responding were hazardous material trucks from two area fire departments. Firefighters were on the scene until nearly 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

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