Detour set up after semi fire, fuel spill

Cary Ashby • Mar 14, 2013 at 9:41 AM

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) set up a detour of U.S. 20 after a tractor-trailer fire and diesel fuel spill near The Bellevue Hospital this weekend.

The Bellevue Police Department received a 9-1-1 call at 7:19 p.m. Sunday about "a semi that exploded" in the 1300 block of West Main Street. The incident happened on U.S. 20 across the road from the hospital.

Police dispatched all available officers, the Bellevue Fire Department and North Central EMS to the scene.

The driver, Darrin J. Ferrario, 26, of Oak Grove, Minn., and his passenger, Craig O. Peterson, 28, of Oakdale, Minn., were out of the truck when first-responders arrived. Authorities said the men weren't injured.

When firefighters arrived, the rear of the tractor and the front of the trailer was on fire, Lt. Brian Sears said.

Two witnesses flagged down the truck when they saw a fire at the bottom of the reefer unit, Sears said. The unit refrigerates and cools trailers that haul food.

The blaze was under control in about five minutes.

However, Sears said firefighters were at the scene until about 1 a.m. handling the clean-up process. He also said the fire melted a hole in the fuel tank, which holds between 100 and 200 gallons of fuel, leading to about 30 gallons of fuel going into a nearby catch basin.

"It was quite a mess," Sears said.

Spill Tek Environmental Services responded to the scene to handle the fuel spill. Sears said firefighters returned to the station at that point.

Police Sgt. Donald Miller reported he contacted Madison Motors to tow the truck, which was fully loaded with frozen food, two tanks of fuel and a full reefer unit. The towing company arrived at the scene just before 8 p.m.

ODOT set up a detour of U.S. 20 about 20 minutes later. It's unknown how long the detour lasted.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

The damage estimate was at $132,000, including $57,000 to the truck.

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