About 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken were roasted when a tractor-trailer caught fire on I-285 in Cobb County Tuesday morning, shutting down multiple southbound lanes of the interstate and causing hours of delays.
The cases of frozen chicken were being transported from Georgia to California when the fire started near South Cobb Drive around 3:45 a.m., Channel 2 Action News reported.
Traffic was reduced to one lane for several hours while crews worked to put out the fire and clear the charred wreckage from the interstate, causing about a mile of early backups on the outer loop, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Three left lanes reopened at 5:45 a.m. The rest of the interstate reopened nearly an hour later.
The truck’s driver, Micesh Kamal, told Channel 2 Action News he pulled over to the side of the interstate when he saw smoke and opened the back of the truck. There were flames in every direction, Kamal said.
“When I see the fire, I pick up the fire extinguisher,” he told the news station. “The fire, the flames are large.”
He ultimately waited for help from authorities to put out the blaze, which he assumes was sparked by malfunctioning brakes. Kamal said he feels pretty lucky he was not injured.
Cleanup did not impact the ride on the inner loop, traffic reporter Mark Arum said.
“If there is any good news with this situation, this big rig fire is the non-rush hour direction,” he said. “This time of the morning, most folks are heading northbound on I-285, not southbound.”
There are still partial lane restrictions on the ramp to South Cobb Drive at 8 a.m., according to the Traffic Center. Traffic on the travel lanes of interstate is not affected.
» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.
—Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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