18-wheeler carrying broccoli, okra catches fire on NB I-35 at Loop 410

Big rig runs over mattress prior to fire; I-35 traffic affected for hours

SAN ANTONIO – An 18-wheeler carrying broccoli and okra erupted into flames Tuesday morning on Interstate 35 North at Loop 410, causing major delays for motorists.

The big rig, which had left Laredo for Tennessee, caught fire around 8:30 a.m. after it hit a mattress on the interstate, San Antonio fire battalion chief Steve Reuthinger said.

"Another driver in another vehicle actually saw the fire (and) told the driver of the 18-wheeler, Reuthinger said. "(He) pulled over and that's when he got out."

Firefighters encountered problems putting out the blaze, which sent huge plumes of smoke into the air, because there are no fire hydrants in the area, Reuthinger said.

Fire trucks carrying water were changed out, and a firefighter on a ladder truck shot water from the air.

No injuries were reported.

I-35 traffic was reduced to one lane while crews cleaned up the mess. The interstate was reopened around 4:15 p.m.

The cause is under investigation.

For more information on traffic you can click here to view our traffic page on KSAT.com. To view more on the current weather conditions, click here.


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About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.