By the time fire crews from Indian Falls and Pembroke arrived on scene of a truck fire this afternoon, the tractor, but not the trailer, was fully engulfed in flames.
Firefighters quickly noticed a placard on the trailer warning that it hauled an oxidizer chemical and notified dispatchers. Genesee County's hazmat team was dispatched to the fire location -- the Flying J off the Thruway at Route 77 in Pembroke.
While it took firefighters from Indian Falls, Pembroke, East Pembroke and Corfu nearly an hour to battle the blaze, they did manage to contain most of the fire to the tractor, according Tom Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County.
The fire was initially reported at 1:22 p.m..
The fire did extend into the trailer, the but it was kept well away from the hazardous chemical, Yaeger said.
The chemical was potassium nitrate. The chemical has a wide variety of uses, including fertilizer and fireworks. At one time it was used as a food preservative for meats. In this case, it was stored in a small electrical component, Yaeger said, and did not spill or leak.
Still, it was a good thing the hazmat team was already in place because more than 240 gallons of diesel fuel leaked into the Flying J's drainage system.
The system, Yaeger said, is designed to contain such spills and none of the fuel went beyond the Flying J property. Most of it wound up in a containment pond, where hazmat crews were able to soak up most of the diesel.
At 4:30 p.m., Yaeger and his team, as well as Pembroke's fire crews, were still on scene awaiting the arrival of a private company to finish the clean up.
There were no injuries in the fire or as a result of the spill or the emergency efforts.
Route 77 was shut down for a couple of hours as a result of the incident.
The tractor is described by a Sheriff's Office report as a 2006 Volvo Tractor, owned by Homes Freight, Inc., out of Ontario, Calif. The tractor was a total loss.
Previously: Fire involving chemicals at Flying J
NOTE: If any of the firefighters who responded happened to take pictures, we would be happy to share them with readers.