(update) Mechanical malfunction causes semi trailer Fire on I-80 in Cass County this morning


February 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A mechanical malfunction of some sort was to blame for a semi trailer fire early this (Thursday) morning on Interstate 80, in Cass County. Firefighters from Atlantic and Marne were called to the scene located on I-80 westbound at the 52 mile-marker, at about 5:49-a.m.  Atlantic Firefighter Gene Schmelling told KJAN News a tire burned out on the trailer of the semi which was hauling lime. The flames spread to the rest of the trailer, causing a substantial amount of damage to the rear. The semi’s driver managed to separate the tractor from the trailer, and prevent further damage. Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour. No injuries were reported. The DOT reported the right lane of I-80 westbound was blocked for a little more than four-hours this morning, while crews worked to remove the damaged trailer and clean-up the mess. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says the wreck was finally cleared by around 11:45-a.m. 

Firefighter Gene Schmelling said it’s not clear how the fire began, but it was most likely caused by a blow-out, bad brakes or worn bearings.

Semi Trailer Fire (Mike Kennon/Cass Co. EMA photo)

Trailer Fire on I-80 WB at mm 52 (Mike Kennon photo)