Car carrier fire near Cornwallis closes 101

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on May 28, 2014

(Slideshow of photos from the highway)

The driver of a tractor-trailer full of new vehicles is okay but at least five of the cars he was delivering aren’t.

The driver pulled between Exits 23A and 23B on Highway 101 near Cornwallis after 7 this morning when he noticed fire at the rear of the trailer.

He used a fire extinguisher on the fire that seemed to be coming from the brakes.

Further investigation revealed it may have been a failed wheel bearing that caused the fire.

The Bear River, Digby and Smith’s Cove fire departments were called to the scene at 7:30 a.m.

Bear River Fire Chief Darryl Jelfs says the rear four vehicles on the truck were on fire when he arrived and flames were shooting across two lanes of the three-lane highway.

“People were driving through and around the flames,” says Jelfs. “It was a dangerous situation.”

Firefighters from the three departments applied foam to the vehicles, using ladders to get at the upper vehicles and then climbing onto the trailer itself to hunt out the hot spots.

The fire was mostly out by 9 a.m. but it could take some time to remove

Traffic was being rerouted around the accident scene and a spokesperson with the Department of Transportation says they will be opening one lane soon with traffic control.

He said it will take several hours before they can open both lanes.