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Forced evacuations, freeway closure after tanker catches fire

COVE FORT — I-15 southbound in Beaver County was closed for about 45-minutes this morning after a tanker hauling sodium dioxide caught fire.

Utah Highway Patrol Sargeant Nick Street says the truck pulling the tanker was climbing a hill on I-15 near mile marker 136 at 8:15 am when it started on fire.  Because the substance inside is an inhalation hazard, a 1/2 mile radius near Cove Fort was evacuated.

Video sent to KSL by Dane Howe showed the fire fully engulfing the tractor and first trailer. Crews were able to extinguish it fairly quickly. They cleaned up some debris and were able to reopen one lane of southbound I-15 about 45 minutes after it was closed.

Hazmat team members out of Richfield are on the scene to help clean up what is left of the tanker. Once the truck and tanker are moved off the scene, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will check the road for damage.

The driver was able to escape without injury.

Photo courtesy of UHP

There was no word on when business owners and residents were allowed back home.