SHERIDAN — A semi-trailer hauling a monster truck from Great Falls, Mont., to South Dakota caught fire Sunday evening resulting in minor injuries to one person and a traffic disruption that lasted approximately 45 minutes.
State fire investigator Richard Embrey said the blaze was caused by the placement of liquid fuel near the pilot light of the trailer’s water heater.
“Any time you put flammable liquids near (an ignition source), you’re going to have a catastrophe,” he said.
One of the two passengers sustained minor burn injuries as a result of the incident. As of press time, the passengers’ identities were not available.
Sheridan Fire Marshal Brian Songer said the driver was pulled over by a passing motorist who noticed a problem with the trailer. The vehicle had been heading eastbound on Interstate 90 at the time.
Once he noticed the problem, the driver exited the interstate at North Main Street.
Upon noticing the flames, the driver attempted to open the trailer and remove the monster truck, but was unable to gain full entry.
Fire crews were called to the scene at about 6:50 p.m. and spent about half an hour working to knock down the flames.
Songer said several minor explosions made the process more difficult than it would have otherwise been.
Firefighters remained on site for another hour working to prevent subsequent flare-ups.
The other passenger of the vehicle was not injured during the incident.
Traffic to both the on- and off-ramps was halted for about 45 minutes before lanes were reopened.