A tractor-trailer tire fire Monday in front of Denny’s Restaurant turned into a day-long debris removal operation for local authorities.
Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue firefighters arrived at the scene at 4:58 a.m. and found the tire on fire on both sides of the trailer and fire inside the trailer, according to a report from the agency.
“We were able to put the fire out from the outside. We opened to doors to the trailer and wet down the contents to the rear of the trailer,” the report said. The truck was bound for the Grocery Outlet in The Dalles. The ceiling in the rear third of the trailer had fallen down on top of the cargo, causing fire damage to products inside the trailer.
“The rest of the load was smoke-damaged, but did not burn,” the report stated.
A dump truck and loader from the city of The Dalles was enlisted to help clean up the mess. The burned product filled a five-yard dump truck. The rest of the load was left on the trailer. The freightliner semi truck was not damaged.
Cause of the fire was determined to be failure of the brake system on the trailer. He said his gauges indicated all was OK, but he pulled off the freeway at Exit 83. As he was coming off the ramp, he could see smoke in the lights of the exit.
On further examination, the driver saw fire in the tires and attempted unsuccessfully to put it out with his fire extinguisher.