Mobile Fire Rescue and the Spanish Fort Fire Department both responded to the fire on the Bayway last night.
Mobile was first on scene and both departments worked hand in hand to control and put the fire out.
Spanish Fort got the 911 call ten minutes after 9 p.m. All the caller said was, "There's something on fire on the Bayway." That's all they knew, but they came prepared.
"It looked like a scene out of a movie honestly. There was a trail of diesel fuel that was on fire, there was a tire in the middle of the interstate that was on fire and there was debris that was on fire that was blowing past us. it was pretty breezy out there last night," said Spanish Fort Fire Chief Roger Few.
Few was the first to arrive from the Baldwin County side of the fire. He says the 18 wheeler on fire had a double trailer. Once he and 12 of his firefighters realized there were no serious injuries, the concern was for what was inside those trailers.
"The trucks were empty, but they had scrap paper and cardboard in it and all that debris was blowing by," said Few.
Strong winds fueled the fire. It was the truck's spilled diesel that was burning bright. The Chief says the truck's fuel tank had ruptured. "The biggest battle was water. There's no fire hydrants up there. A fire truck carries 500 gallons, so they had two trucks. We had two trucks, but we ran out of water before it was fully extinguished. Mobile's trucks had to go to the end of the Bayway and refill," said Few.
"With both fire departments fighting the fire with water, we weren’t getting any headway so we used a fire fighting foam, and that's an agent that helps us extinguish the fire," said Few.
The Bayway is now open. ALDOT says it’s safe to drive but the Chief says fire and concrete simply don’t mix.
"No matter how old concrete is it always has moisture in it, and once that fire starts burning and it burns hot enough, it boils the water that's in the concrete and causes it to expand. The concrete starts to chip off. It's called spalling and there was a tremendous amount of spalling right where the incident was," said Few.
Out of all the Spanish Fort firefighters that were out there last night, the Chief was the only one available to talk to us today. He says all the other firefighters are all volunteers and they all showed up last night, no questions asked.