RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A truck carrying potentially explosive chemicals caught fire Tuesday, leaving some Randolph County residents on edge.
According to Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble, the driver of the truck called officials shortly before 3 p.m. saying his truck was on fire.
The driver said he was along Highway 67 between Biggers and Reyno when something tugged on his trailer.
He reportedly said the truck locked up and when he was able to get to the side of the road, his rear passenger tires and brakes were on fire.
Tribble and his deputies, along with Pocahontas and Biggers-Reyno Fire Departments, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, and the Clay County Sheriff's Department responded.
"We didn't really know what was on the tanker when we were dispatched but as we found out it was about 44,700 gallons of ammonium nitrate," said Tribble.
That is when officials decided to secure the area.
"With this type of chemical, we assessed it and determined the best course of action was public safety," said Bo Graham, Office of Emergency Management coordinator for Randolph County. "We got people back in a half-mile radius from the fire and we took it from there."
This evacuation had a significant effect on traffic as drivers were rerouted to Biggers-Reyno Road, also known as the old Highway 67.
Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller said even though people did live in the area, it was not as stressful because there wasn't many.
"Right through here is fairly sparse," said Miller. "My rough guess is less than ten families affected by it, 10 to 20"
Traffic was shut down for about an hour and a half, but Tribble said he could not have asked for the situation to be resolved any better.
"Everybody did perform the way I think everyone should have," said Tribble. "I'm pleased that nobody was hurt. We did set a zone, a radius, and a safe distance until we were able to determine what we had and they were able to extinguish the fire safely."
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