Truck hauling propane catches fire on I-17; causes massive backup

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A bobtail delivery truck that was hauling propane caught fire Tuesday, leading to a hazmat situation and a huge traffic backup on I-17.

It happened around 3:15 pm. near Table Mesa Road.

More than 40 firefighters were called out to fight the blaze, including fire crews from Daisy Mountain, Black Canyon City and Phoenix.

It's not clear yet how the fire started, but Daisy Mountain fire officials say the flames did start in the rear of the tank.

The Phoenix Fire Department says it appears the tanker blew a tire before catching fire.

Fire officials say 300 gallons of propane was stored inside the truck, and the fire briefly ignited some brush along the freeway.

"The concern is with the fire that it could possibly explode," said fire officials.

The tanker was fully engulfed in flames. Close to an hour later, some flames were still licking from the back of the tank.

One of the problems crew encountered is that there weren't enough fire hydrants in the area. Fire department water tankers hauling water were called into the site.

Crews were eventually able to control the fire and secure the individual valves on the tanker.

Thankfully, no one was injured.

But the fire did lead to an enormous traffic mess.

DPS troopers closed I-17 for over 10 hours in both directions south of Black Canyon City, and traffic was backed up for miles.

Northbound lanes of I-17 reopened at New River Road around 1:00 a.m. and southbound I-17 was reopened in stages starting at 2:00 a.m.

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