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Hwy. 18 reopens after burned tractor trailer removed

A tractor trailer hauling lime caught fire Tuesday around noon on Highway 18 West near Bottoms Road. The highway was closed to traffic as firefighters doused the flames through the toxic smoke. DOT workers were called in to remove the lime and repair fire damage on the highway before the road was reopened just after 4 p.m. The driver of the truck from Oglethorpe said he blew an inside tire on the rear of the trailer and did not know the truck was on fire until a small truck flagged him down. He said he used a fire extinguisher on the burning tires but when it did not slow the burning, he disconnected the cab from the trailer. Fire crews battled thick black smoke coming from the burning rubber. The trailer’s tires completely burned away, dumping the lime into the roadway. Traffic was stopped for several hours as the fire was extinguished and materials removed from the road. DOT crews cleaned the lime and debris from the highway and reopened the road to traffic later in the afternoon.

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