(3/15/12) On March 15, 2012 at 06:22AM the Black River alls Fire Department was dispatched by the Jackson County Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) to mile post 132 West Bound, Township of Millston, County of Jackson, on I-94 for a semi unit on fire. The EDC was reporting that the dash of the semi tractor was on fire per the caller.
While responding to the scene the EDC advised that the correct location of the fire was at mile post 123 West Bound which is in the Township of Manchester, County of Jackson and State of Wisconsin.
Upon arrival of the Department the semi tractor was found to be fully engulfed in fire.
The west bound lanes were closed for a time while the fire was extinguished for the safety of the firefighters with the heavy fog that was present as well as the public traveling on the highway with explosions taking place from the semi tractor.
One west bound lane was reopened for traffic at 07:31.
The fire did not extend into the semi trailer load which consisted of paper and furniture.
The Department was assisted by the Town of Lincoln Fire Department from Warrens, WI.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol assisted with closing the west bound lanes and diverting traffic off the interstate at Millston, WI.
The Jackson County Highway Department also assisted with traffic control signs and supplied sand which was used to cover diesel fuel which had leaked from the fuel tanks onto the traffic lanes.
The owner and driver of the semi tractor was a Mark Ross from Marianna, PA. Ross and his dog were not injured.
Ross reported that he could smell something hot within the cab of the semi and then observed fire coming from the dash area in the cab.
The semi tractor is a total loss. A dollar amount for the fire loss is not known at this time.
The owner of the semi trailer was Manning Trucking of Blaine, MN.
The Department was clear of the scene at 08:29AM.
The cause of this fire remains under investigation by the Black River Falls Fire Department.
Chief Steve Schreiber
Black River Falls Fire Department