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E.B. Cooper Highway reopens after truck catches fire

Published: Nov. 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM EST
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RICEBORO, GA (WTOC) - A pickup hauling a trailer with cardboard caught fire on the E.B. Cooper Highway near Riceboro Tuesday night.

It happened around 8 p.m. The fire was intense. However, officials say the driver was able to get out of the truck and is okay.

Liberty County EMS said a tire caught fire and caused the entire truck to go up in flames.

Liberty County Sheriff's deputies had to shut down the highway in both directions for most of the night. It has since reopened.

The Department of Transportation out of Brunswick helped with the cleanup.

Incident summary from Liberty County Sheriff's Office:

On Tuesday November 11, 2014 during the evening hours at approximately 1902 hours Liberty 911 received a call on a report of a vehicle fire on EB Cooper Highway in the Crossroads Community. Upon arrival at approximately 1909 hours I observed a 28` Gooseneck trailer loaded with bales of cardboard that was fully engulfed in flames located in the south bound lane. A black in color Toyota Tundra pick up truck bearing Ga. tag XXXXXX and insured by XXXXXX with a policy number of XXXXXXXXX was noted off the roadway approximately 200 feet ahead of the burning trailer. Noting the fire and bales of burning debris falling across the north bound lanes of traffic Highway 119 was shut down to all traffic pending the arrival of Fire units from Riceboro and Walthourville.
Since the trailer load of cardboard boxes was en route to Interstate Paper, contact was made with MCCD, Motor Carrier Compliance Division, to assist with the investigation. MCCD Officer Miles Moseley #7559 arrived on scene and initiated an Inspection Report, # GA0123000411 and determined there were at least (2) Two Violations concerning the operation of the vehicle and business owner.
Information obtained on scene indicated that the left front trailer tire had blown out and was on fire thus causing the contents on the trailer to be ignited. The driver / operator of the Toyota Tundra pulling the trailer, James Ray, stated that he had recently purchased the trailer for his business and had not yet registered the trailer and had no tag at this time. Ray stated that he had not had any type of inspection done on the trailer to ensure it was road worthy and assumed that the trailer had been properly serviced. Ray stated that he was carrying 15 bales of crushed cardboard weighing approximately 700 pounds per bale. Estimated weight of 10,500 pounds. The initial assessment indicated that the seals had gotten too hot due to the extreme weight and possible lack of grease thus causing the tire to catch fire.
Fire units remained on scene attempting to extinguish the fire while a determination to remove the debris was being determined by Liberty County EMA and Ga. DOT. It was later determined that the proper clean up and removal should be conducted by Moran Environmental Recovery out of Savannah Ga..
At approximately 0112 hours the first units responded to the scene and initiated clean up. Riceboro Fire  had to respond once again due to hot spots and flames. Possible damage to the asphalt due to the fire is to be inspected by Ga. DOT.


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