Northbound traffic on I-85 was backed up for miles Thursday afternoon after a tractor trailer loaded with rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide caught fire near mile marker 199. The driver of the truck was transported to the UNC Burn Center. His condition is not known at this time.
Granville County Public Information Officer Terry A. Hobgood Jr. said Friday the incident was reported at 2:46 p.m. and emergency crews were on the scene within 10 minutes. By 3:08 p.m., both northbound lanes were closed to all traffic. One lane reopened about 4 p.m. and both lanes were clear by 8:30 p.m.
Mile marker 199 is just south of the Oxford rest area near the Bryan’s Hill Road overpass/Tar River bridge.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Hobgood said, but he stated that witnesses reported that the trailer caught fire while driving on I-85. The trailer was carrying a full load of 70% Isopropyl alcohol as well as hydrogen peroxide. Some of the spilled load did run-off into the Tar River but there has been no update on how much.
Granville County Emergency Management/Fire Marshal’s Office and the Granville County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene first, followed by Granville Health System EMS and Providence Volunteer Fire Department.
Other responders included the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department, Stem Volunteer Fire Department, Oxford Fire Department, Butner Public Safety, NC State Highway Patrol and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.