Hot tamales aplenty as semi, trailer destroyed in blaze on I-15 near Parowan

PAROWAN — A semitractor-trailer carrying a load of frozen Mexican food was destroyed by fire on Interstate 15 early Wednesday morning.

The incident, which was first reported shortly before 5:30 a.m., occurred on northbound I-15 near mile marker 74, just south of Parowan.

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Ryan Horton said the semi’s driver told investigators that the fire started and spread quickly.

“He said that he looked in his rear view mirror and saw flames beginning to start. He thinks that he may have had a flat tire,” Horton told Cedar City News at the scene.

“He got out of the truck, and he said that he put three fire extinguishers on it. Of course, we were called, and by the time we got here, it was fully involved.”

Scene of a semitractor-trailer fire on northbound Interstate 15 near Parowan, Utah, June 3, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Firefighters responded and extinguished the blaze. No injuries were reported, but the semitractor, trailer and contents were a total loss. The load mostly consisted of packages of frozen tamales and boneless chicken thighs.

Both lanes of northbound traffic on I-15 were closed for approximately two hours, with vehicles being rerouted through Summit at Exit 71.

Just after 7:30, the left lane was reopened to traffic, but Horton said that the right lane was expected to be closed for at least a few more hours while crews remove what’s left of the vehicle and clean up the debris. Motorists passing through may experience slight delays until early afternoon.

“Until everybody’s kind of out of harm’s way in this No. 2 lane, we’ll keep this shut down,” Horton said.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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