Semi fire closes I-65 N in Newton County for 8 hours

A photo of the semi fire on I-65 in Newton County on Friday, February 9. (provided by the Indiana State Police).

NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – An early morning semi fire on I-65 northbound in Newtown County closed the interstate for just eight hours Friday.

A photo of the semi fire on I-65 in Newton County on Friday, February 9. (provided by the Indiana State Police).
A photo of the semi fire on I-65 in Newton County on Friday, February 9. (provided by the Indiana State Police).

An investigation concluded that around 4 a.m. CST a man driving a semi pulling a box trailer, loaded with cereal and vegetable oil, stopped on the right shoulder of I-65 northbound, at the 232-mile marker. The semi had a flat tire and the brakes had caught fire, according to a press release from Indiana State Police.

The driver tried to put the fire out with his fire extinguisher and was unsuccessful because the oil in the trailer caught fire and needed to be put out more than once. He also tried to disconnect his tractor from the trailer, but by this time the fire was too intense. Eventually, the tractor and most of the trailer became fully engulfed in flames, the press release said.

A photo of the semi fire on I-65 in Newton County on Friday, February 9. (provided by the Indiana State Police).
A photo of the semi fire on I-65 in Newton County on Friday, February 9. (provided by the Indiana State Police).

While the fire was extinguished and the rest of the oil was unloaded, the press release indicated that traffic was backed up for over 10 miles and diverted to another road.

The area was closed until around 12 p.m. CST to complete the clean-up and removal of the semi.