Hopkinton Fire Chief William Miller would like to provide residents with an update on the I-495 fire.
The Chief confirmed that the tractor trailer was completely empty, which in retrospect made the fire easier to extinguish. In the past the department has grappled with trailers full of hay and rolls of paper, which make them far more complex to fight.
“This type of fire is not uncommon,” said the Chief. “The radiant heat from the cab burning ignited the trailer, which is made primarily of a metal structure with plywood walls. There was enough heat to catch fire and burn.”
This was a routine call for the fire department. HFD battles car fires on I-495 twice per month on average. Fires on I-495 southbound between the Mass Pike and Main Street take longer to respond to because the engine is forced to reverse direction at the I-495/Route 9 interchange. This area is designated as a mutual aid area with Westborough.
The Hopkinton engine was on the road coming from another call when the initial report of a car fire came in. Later, Lieutenant Krauss, the Duty Officer, received an update that it was a tractor trailer fire. After battling the blaze, Lt. Krauss called for additional tankers from Upton and Hopedale because Hopkinton and Westborough were running out of water.
The Chief also clarified that it is normal for the tires to explode during a fire, which many residents heard and reported.
Hopkinton Fire used a mixture of water and environmentally friendly (PFAS-free) foam to extinguish the blaze. There are no hydrants anywhere on I-495.
The driver of the vehicle was on the side of the road when the fire department rolled up. ARTS towing cleared the scene once the fire was handled.