Highway tanker fire still under investigation

Raissa Tetanish
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MILLBROOK - Debris from a tanker truck fire still covered Highway 102 Thursday morning, 12 hours after the diesel fire was extinguished.

An employee with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal was on site, waiting for the area manager of the Department of Environment to arrive, along with a clean up crew.

The truck, carrying more than 10,000 litres of fuel, caught on fire shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, just moments after the driver pulled over and got out.

"We still don't know the cause," said Truro Fire Service Chief Blois Currie. "When I first pulled up, I didn't know what was in the truck because it was fully involved. But once I found out what was in it - furnace fuel - we evacuated nearby businesses and homes."

Currie said the evacuation process, which includes those within a half-kilometre radius when furnace fuel is involved, had actually started before then, however it continued as soon as it was confirmed furnace fuel was contained inside the truck.

With assistance of firefighters from Bible Hill, Cobequid, Salmon River, Hilden and a tanker from Valley-Kemptown, the fire was contained.

"I think it went well overall," said Currie, adding Townsview Estates off Abenaki Road deployed its own evacuation plan while emergency personnel evacuated businesses and residents, and the highway blocked off. "We let the fire burn for quite a while and when we felt it was safe, went in and knocked it down."

The Department of Environment is now investigating the matter, however Currie said there wasn't a lot of fuel run-off.

"There was no fuel running anywhere, we were able to set up a good containment," said Currie.

Truro firefighters left the scene around 10:30 p.m., 30 minutes after evacuees were told they could return home.

 

Organizations: Department of Environment, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Truro Fire Service

Geographic location: Bible Hill, Salmon River, Abenaki Road

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