Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A portion of Red Hill Road in Grant County was closed for more than five hours Tuesday between Four Corners and Oklahoma 11 after a semi hauling liquid nitrogen caught fire.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed the road at 2:16 p.m. after receiving word at 2 p.m. about the fire. Authorities were fearful of an explosive threat because of the nitrogen.
Two Pond Creek men, who happened to be driving that way, saw the truck on fire and managed to get it stopped and alert the driver to the danger.
Joey Hayes, who was driving to Kansas, said he and his friend, Ryan Henry, saw the fire in the back two axles of the trailer. Hayes said Henry saw the fire first and drove his pickup around the front of the semi and stopped, forcing the burning truck to stop as well.
The truck stopped about one-quarter mile north of Four Corners — the intersection of U.S. 81 and U.S. 64. — on Red Hill Road.
They tried to fight the fire with fire extinguishers they had and appear the get the blaze out, Hayes said.
“We put the brake drums out,” he said. “That’s what was on fire. Then, the ... tires blew up and we ran.”
The exploding tires caused the fire to restart, but no one was injured, Hayes said.
Another semi was brought in to offload the one that caught fire before it could be moved from the roadway, according to OHP’s Troop J headquarters.
Red Hill Road was officially closed at 2:16 p.m., according to the patrol. It was re-opened at 7:23 p.m.