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Disaster avoided when tanker truck catches fire in Freeport

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 10:26 a.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Firefighters cool off a tanker after extinguishing a fire on the truck from Buckler Transport Inc. on the Laneville bridge in Freeport on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Traffic on Route 356 was affected but no one was injured.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Firefighters cool off a tanker after extinguishing a fire on the truck from Buckler Transport Inc. on the Laneville bridge in Freeport on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Traffic on Route 356 was affected but no one was injured.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
The scene where a tanker truck from Buckler Transport Inc. caught on fire on the Laneville bridge in Freeport on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Traffic on Route 356 was affected but no one was injured.

Disaster was averted Tuesday when a tanker truck caught fire on the Laneville bridge in Freeport.

Around 12:30 p.m., the empty tanker truck, usually carrying paraffin wax, knocked down a power line, which fell on the truck and set its wheels on fire, according to Brandon Ashbaugh, the Freeport fire officer in charge.

According to Ashbaugh, the driver, who was trapped inside the vehicle's cabin due to the electrical line draped over the truck, was not injured.

Ashbaugh said that, even though the tanker was empty, there still was a serious threat of it exploding because of the chance that pockets of oxygen or other gases remained in the tanker.

“There's always a hazard when a tanker's on fire,” he said. “It (pockets of gas) could make the thing blow up like a pop bottle.”

Traffic was stopped coming in and out of the borough because of the fire. Both lanes of Route 356 were closed between Buffalo Street and Old Pike Road.

The road reopened at about 4 p.m.

R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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