Burst tire sparks fire that destroys truck’s load

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 
Pacific Pride

Roofing materials being hauled by a tractor-trailer were destroyed by fire when the big rig's tire burst into flames at a commercial fueling station Wednesday evening in Woodland.

The incident was reported at 7:26 p.m. as a building explosion after people reported hearing explosions and seeing flames.

It turns out that one of the wheels on the truck overheated and burst, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, spokesman for Clark County Fire & Rescue.

The truck driver was heading north on Interstate 5 to British Columbia when he noticed that one of his wheels was overheating. He pulled off the freeway and into Pacific Pride, 1600 Atlantic Ave., where the overheated tire exploded and started the fire.

Firefighters disconnected the tractor from its trailer and quickly extinguished the fire. No one was injured, and the fueling station was not threatened by the fire, Dawdy said.

Firefighters also saved the tractor-trailer, and the driver was able to get back on the road. Although the vehicle wasn't damaged, the roofing material was considered a total loss, Dawdy said.

Extinguishing flaming roofing material is difficult, because the materials are tightly packed, he said.

"You have to get every piece torn apart before you can say (the fire is ) out," he said.