Semi fire halts traffic on I-474 (with photos)

By WEEK Producer

September 12, 2013 Updated Sep 12, 2013 at 8:54 PM CDT

PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. -- Traffic on I-474 Westbound came to a stand still Thursday morning after a semi caught fire near the Shade-Lohmann Bridge around 7:30 a.m.

The driver of the semi said he was crossing the bridge when he heard a loud noise. He decided to pull over to check it out and found a fire under the cab of the truck. The flames quickly spread to the wheels and trailer.

The semi is owned by Douglas and Sons, based in Statesville, NC. It was hauling machinery parts at the time of the fire.

Fire officials said putting out the fire was easy, but the traffic congestion was a challenge.

“It was a little tough getting out here in the early morning,” said Bartonville Fire Captain Drew Zachman. “Everybody's trying to go to work, all the traffic and stuff, so it was a little bit hard getting out here and getting the traffic shut down so we could do our job, but we got to it. A lot of the cops were here, state cops, Bartonville cops, Creve Coeur cops where here so they pretty much took care of traffic control for us making our job easier."

Crews put out the fire in about 20 minutes. The westbound lanes were closed for approximately 2 hours.

No citations were issued.