ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Traffic is now moving on eastbound Interstate 26 in Orangeburg County after a tractor trailer fire backed up traffic for miles for several hours early Wednesday morning.
The vehicle fire was near mile marker 152. Traffic was at a standstill on the eastbound side of the interstate for more than five hours, between the Route 33 and Route 301 exits to Orangeburg. It was reported just before 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Traffic started moving again at about 6:30 a.m.
The driver of the truck told Orangeburg County fire officials he pulled over at about 11 p.m. Monday because other drivers told him that his vehicle was smoking. He left the truck and went somewhere to sleep with the intention of returning in the morning for the truck.
While the driver was sleeping, Orangeburg County Chief Fire Operations Officer Teddy Wolfe says 30,000 pounds of yarn burned in the trailer. The boxes weighed 900 pounds each, and firefighters couldn't remove them, so they let them burn.
"The other issues that they ran into is that the material once it melted was creating a hazard on the roadway which was why the interstate was shut down in addition to them using it as a travel lane for the water shuttle," Wolfe said.
Wolfe says it took five tankers of water to extinguish the fire.
The driver will not be charged.