Toast: Tractor-trailer carrying bread catches fire on I-75 in Ocala

OCALA, Fla. — Flames engulfed a tractor-trailer carrying bread Wednesday evening on Interstate 75, Ocala Fire Rescue said.

Firefighters said they were called shortly before 7:45 p.m. to the southbound lanes of I-75 one mile north of mile marker 354, where they discovered a burning tractor-trailer.

Ocala Fire Rescue’s Engine 3, Engine 4, Rescue 4, and BC 22 responded to reports of a vehicle fire on I-75 Southbound, at 7:41 PM. As units approached the vehicle, located approximately one mile north of mile marker 354, smoke and flames emanated from the cab of a semi and were beginning to spread to the attached trailer. The bursting of one of the semi’s saddle tanks prompted a fuel leak which facilitated the spread of the flames onto neighboring pastures. Due to the location of the fire, command requested an MCFR tanker to aid with the grass fire, while OFR crews attacked the flames. The fire was completely extinguished by 8:05 PM. The driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, suffered no injuries. The state warning point was notified of the fuel spill. Video credit: M. Anderson

Posted by Ocala Fire Rescue on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A fuel tank burst, spilling fuel and causing the fire to spread from the vehicle's cab to its trailer and a nearby pasture, officials said.

Firefighters said it took more than 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

The tractor-trailer's driver told firefighters that he pulled over after a passing driver notified him of the fire. He tried to put it out with an extinguisher but was unsuccessful.

Media release and additional footage of last night’s bread truck fire on I-75. (OCALA, Fla.) February 22, 2018 – Last night, a bread truck traveling south on I-75 caught on fire as it made its way through Marion County. At 7:41 PM Ocala Fire Rescue’s Engine 3, Engine 4, Rescue 4, and Battalion Chief 22 were dispatched to a vehicle fire on I-75 SB, near mile marker 354. As firefighters arrived on scene they encountered a semi with fully involved cab fire spreading to the enclosed box trailer and nearby pasture. The fire spread was facilitated by a saddle tank which burst, releasing diesel fuel on the already affected area. Engine crews began attacking the fire from the cab and worked their way back to the trailer, extinguishing some of the grass fire in the process. The Fire was completely extinguished by 8:05 PM. Conversations with the driver, the sole occupant of the semi, revealed that as he was traveling down I-75 a passing vehicle alerted him of the truck being on fire. The semi driver then pulled off to the side of the road and attempted to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher, but was unsuccessful. OFR commends the actions of both the passing vehicle driver and the truck driver. Thanks to the passerby’s alertness, a fire, which could have gone unnoticed by the truck driver, was identified and addressed. Because the truck driver was alerted, the necessary steps to mitigate the incident – pulling over, exiting the vehicle, and utilizing a fire extinguisher – took place, preventing injuries and damages to other vehicles. Marion County Fire Rescue’s Engine 11 and Engine 20, and Tanker 19 also responded. ###

Posted by Ocala Fire Rescue on Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Thanks to the passerby’s alertness, a fire, which could have gone unnoticed by the truck driver, was identified and addressed," the agency said in a news release. "Because the truck driver was alerted, the necessary steps to mitigate the incident -- pulling over, exiting the vehicle and utilizing a fire extinguisher -- took place, preventing injuries and damages to other vehicles."

Marion County Fire Rescue was called to extinguish the grass fire, which was put out shortly after 10 p.m., officials said.