Crews reopen I-81 N. in Hamblen Co. after semi fire

Update 7:30 am:

More than four hours after a semi fire closed a section of I-81 North in Hamblen County, crews cleared the debris and reopened the interstate.

The fire was reported just after 3 a.m. at mile marker 12.

The driver of the tractor trailer told officials that he pulled over to the side of the road because his breaks were overheating. The driver said the breaks wouldn't release heat and caught fire. Before the fire started, the driver managed to unhitch the truck from the trailer.

The fire shut down the interstate for more than four hours. Hamblen County firefighters said it took them two and a half hours to extinguish the fire. Firefighters had to pull each piece of carpet out of the truck before they could break down the trailer and move it off the interstate.

By 7:20 a.m., officials cleared the debris and reopened that section of I-81.

No one was injured in the fire.

Update 7 am:

(WBIR) Crews are expected to reopen a section of I-81 in Hamblen County by 7:30 a.m. after a tractor trailer carrying rolls of carpet caught fire early Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported just after 3 a.m. at mile marker 12. A Hamblen County Fire Department spokesperson said the brakes on the semi overheated sparking a fire.

Clean-up crews had shut down a section of the interstate so they could remove the semi from the interstate piece by piece. Right now, officials are diverting northbound traffic to alternate routes, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

No one was injured in the fire.

Update 6:00 am:

Authorities say a tractor trailer truck that caught fire this morning on I-81 in Hamblen County was carrying rolls of carpet.

A member of the Hamblen County Fire Department said the brakes on the trailer overheated then caught fire.

Clean-up crews are working to remove the truck piece by piece from the interstate.

They expect the clean up to last until 9:00 am Wednesday morning.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire.

Previous Story:

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was called out early Wednesday morning to a fire involving a tractor trailer in Hamblen County.

The accident happened on I-81 near exit 12. I-81 northbound is closed and traffic is being diverted to other routes starting near exit 8. Traffic heading southbound is also affected, and drivers are being told to expect delays.

Those are all the details we have at this time. A crew is on the way, and we will update you as we find out more information.


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