On May 27, 2004 at 5:52 PM, Van Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call involving an 18 wheeler fire on Interstate 20 at mile marker 537 approximately 3 miles west of the city of Van, TX. Van Engine 646, the first unit on scene, reported a fire coming from both driver and passenger sides of the tractor immediately behind the fuel tanks. Command then advised a mutual aid call for additional water go out to Ben Wheeler Volunteer Fire Department (BWVFD). Van Heavy Rescue 642 was the second unit on scene followed shortly by Van Grass Rig 645.
Lt. Tony Ammons led FFs Michael Duncan, Matthew Hulsey and Chris Walker for an initial attack of the fire closest to the fuel tanks. After extinguishing the flames near the fuel tanks, Lt. Ammons brought his hose team around to the rear of the trailer where the fire had spread from the front. FF Mark Hazlebaker was standing by at the rear with a secondary line from Van Grass Rig 645. The fire was extinguished within a matter of minutes. Afterwards, several hotspots and flare-ups were extinguished on the driver?s side including the sleeper cab. BWVFD assisted with water hauling, overhauling and traffic direction.
No injuries were reported. The trailer was hauling carrots and cantaloupes at the time of the fire.
More photos can be seen of this incident at http://www.vanfirerescue.com/pictures/052704/052704events.html.