Interstate 95 reopened near Rocky Mount

Posted February 2, 2009 6:16 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2009 11:13 p.m. EST

— Interstate 95 near Rocky Mount was shut down in both directions for over two hours Monday evening after a tractor-trailer caught on fire.

At 5:32 pm, Rocky Mount and Nash County Fire Departments were dispatched to a fire near Exit 134, N.C. Highway 58.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a flaming tractor-trailer freight truck on the right shoulder of northbound I-95. The blaze, which began as a brake fire, had extended to the cargo area of the truck.

The fire was quickly extinguished, but the clean-up took hours since the truck was hauling hydrochloric acid.  All four lanes of I-95 were shut down. Motorists were maneuvered through a detour route – using Old Carriage Road, parallel to I-95 – until the lanes reopened.

Eddie Nieves was on his way to New York from Florida when he got stuck in the traffic backup.

"Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” Nieves said.

While some drivers almost ran out of patience, Sterling Grimes nearly ran out fuel and called her husband for help.

"He was going to have to come here and meet me with gas,” she said.

Motorist Dale Bean said he talked with God while waiting for the road to reopen.

"I prayed for patience,” he said. “That is a major road to have shut of completely (and) have everybody exit.”

No injuries were reported.

Hazardous materials and fire crews from Red Oak, Nashville, Rocky Mount and Nash County participated in the cleanup.