Load of groceries catches fire

One semi-trailer full of groceries went up in smoke near Vernon Wednesday morning.

One semi-trailer full of groceries went up in smoke near Vernon Wednesday morning.

The other trailer continued on to its Kamloops destination.

BX-Swan Lake volunteer fire department responded to a report of a fire involving a double-pup tractor trailer unit near the Highway 97 weigh scales shortly before 4 a.m.

“The truck which was hauling two trailers full of groceries was coming over the overpass when the driver noted that the trailer felt sluggish,” said BX-Swan Lake fire chief Bill Wacey. “He pulled into the weigh scales, went to the back of the unit and saw the brake drum on the passenger side was red hot.”

Wacey said the driver put spray on the drum from a small on-board fire extinguisher, but the air bags underneath the rig “blew up.”

“It was a challenge for us when we arrived as both sets of wheels were on fire, and the pull-out ramp on the trailer used for going in and out of the unit was made of magnesium, which burns fast,” he said. “Things burned through the floor of the trailer and into the groceries.”

The unit was off the highway, which was not blocked nor closed by the fire.

The driver of the unit, from Kelowna, was not hurt and told Wacey he was anxious to get back on the road.

“He had to deliver the other trailer,” said Wacey.