Vehicles on fire on semi-trailer on Hwy. 14

A semi-truck with a vehicle carrier trailer was headed west on Highway 14 early Monday morning, January 11.

The driver noticed fire from the trailer. Stopping approximately 12 miles east of Philip, he called 911 and tried to unload the five new vehicles off the trailer.

The Midland and Philip Volunteer Fire Departments received the call at approximately 6:45 a.m. and responded. Midland sent two units and Philip sent a total of four units, one parked just over the hill on the highway for Philip Fire Chief Marty Hansen to control traffic. Local law enforcement units also responded. Over a dozen vehicles headed west and several vehicles headed east had to wait for the fire to be contained.

Reuben Vollmer, Jr, Midland fire chief, said, the center, bottom vehicle had caught fire from mechanical failure of the trailer. By the time the fire units arrived, the semi-truck driver had disconnected the trailer from the semi, unchained the back, lower car and backed the car off the trailer and into the ditch. He had unchained the top, back vehicle and was attempting to back it off the trailer, but, it was too hot for the driver and the ramp was receiving enough heat to start warping.

"The driver did a heck of a job," said Vollmer. "We had to utilize a tractor to get the then two burning cars off the trailer so we could extinguish them. We foamed them from all directions until they really shined." The front, lower and front, upper cars still on the trailer were not damaged. The center, lower and upper, back cars were totaled, as was the trailer.

The PVFD was relieved around 8:30 a.m., while the Midland department worked on scene mop-up until 11:30 a.m.