UPDATED: Vehicle fire stalls traffic on I-65 south in Pelham

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018

PELHAM – Pelham Fire Chief Tim Honeycutt said there were no injuries during a vehicle fire that had traffic on Interstate 65 southbound backed up all the way to Hoover on Tuesday, March 13.

Honeycutt said the fire took place right before exit 246 in Pelham. The fire involved a Ford pickup truck that was pulling a trailer. Honeycutt said the PFD was dispatched to the scene at 3:03 p.m.

Honeycutt said the driver of the truck was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the fire.

“He was driving and someone came up beside him and told him that his truck was on fire,” Honeycutt said.

Honeycutt said the cause of the fire in unknown.

“The body of the truck was made of magnesium, which made it extremely difficult to extinguish,” Honeycutt said. “Magnesium is durable and lightweight, which is what makes it a popular metal to use, but once the fire gets underneath that metal it makes it very difficult to extinguish.”

Honeycutt said the more water firefighters put on the flames, the hotter and bigger the flames got.

“The gentleman is a contractor and the trailer he was pulling had all of the tools in it,” Honeycutt said. “One of the first things the firefighters did when they arrived at the scene was unhitch the trailer. They were able to save all of his tools and everything he needs to make a living, with the exception of his vehicle.”

Honeycutt said when firefighters were dispatched to the scene, the truck was already fully involved, which means that greater than 70 percent of the truck was engulfed in flames.

The incident caused traffic to be backed up for hours.