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Crews battle cargo fire

By Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated May 8, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Emergency crews from Lebanon Fire Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency battled a cargo fire late Tuesday night on Interstate 40.

Lebanon Assistant Fire Chief Jason Baird said units responded to the call around 10:45 p.m. at the 232-mile marker on I-40 eastbound.

Baird said the initial dispatch was that the brakes of a FedEx trailer were on fire. He said that when their units arrived, WEMA firefighters were putting water on the wheel area.

“When we arrived flames were visible and they expanded to inside the trailer to the cargo, and the flames damaged many boxes inside,” Baird said.

Lebanon and WEMA fire crews worked together to put out the fire.

“There was a undetermined amount of loss, but it’s estimated to be above $100,000 in loss of equipment and packages,” Baird said.

According to Baird, this isn’t the first time a cargo trailer’s brakes have caught fire on the interstate.

“Brakes catching on fire is fairly common on the interstate with these tractor trailer and large equipment trailers because they get overheated,” Baird said. “What happened here is there was some sort of failure that caused the brakes to overheat and when that happens the brakes catch fire, then it catches the tires on fire and then it usually spreads into the cargo container.”

No one was injured from the fire and the scene was cleared by around 12:45 p.m., Baird said.

“We worked together with WEMA, which is good, because problem areas for anything on I-40 is water because there’s no hydrants,” Baird said. “So it was nice them being there and us watching out for each other. It’s always nice to have multiple crews there to help with the water, and in this case it worked out great.”

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