Interstate 40 Traffic Jammed as Tractor Trailer Goes Up in Flames

Commuters on Interstate 40 faced a morning of chaos and delays as a tractor-trailer erupted into flames just at the Harriman exit eastbound. The incident, which occurred earlier today, brought traffic to a standstill for over an hour, causing significant backups stretching approximately six miles down Rockwood Mountain towards the Harriman on-ramp.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) swiftly responded to the scene, implementing road closures and redirecting traffic to alleviate the gridlock. Despite the challenges, authorities managed to restore movement on the interstate after blocking off the ramp.

According to Tim Suter, the Emergency Management Director for Roane County, the fire originated from the rear tires of the tractor-trailer, generating substantial smoke and causing extensive damage to the trailer. Suter revealed that part of the cargo included lighter fluid, prompting a rapid and coordinated response from multiple agencies to contain the blaze efficiently.

“The response from our emergency teams was commendable,” stated Suter. “Their concerted efforts ensured that the fire remained confined to the rear section of the trailer, minimizing the potential for further escalation.”

By noon, the interstate had reopened to one lane, allowing traffic to flow once again. Remarkably, no injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

Among the responders were Harriman Fire Department, EOC vehicles, South Roane County Fire, and Midtown Fire, whose collaborative efforts contributed to the successful containment and resolution of the situation.

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