The driver passed the tanker truck and managed to signal the truck driver over. They both dashed a safe distance away and weren’t hurt when the truck burst into flames.
(This story has been updated from the initial version in the newsletter on June 8, 2023.)
A natural gas tanker truck fire on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh late the night of June 1, that easily could have been deadly, did knock out power in the area for awhile, but no one was hurt. Considering the size of the conflagration, damage was minimal.
Workers restoring cable and phone service the morning of June 2 said around 11:05 p.m. the night before a driver noticed sparks, apparently from a gas tanker truck’s brakes.
Grass and trees were burned for about 40 feet on both sides of Route 7 south of Dakin Road.
The truck was a total loss. No buildings were burned, although a structure close to the road was not far from the conflagration. The next morning it appeared to have been untouched by the flames.
A week after the fire the Vermont State Police sent out a release saying an investigation of the natural gas truck fire is “ongoing.”
“The investigation into last week’s fire involving a commercial motor vehicle carrying compressed natural gas on U.S. Route 7 in Ferrisburgh remains active,” the release said.
The state police are asking for motorists, or anyone in the area who saw the fire or the tanker before the blaze, to call New Haven at 802-388-4919 and ask for Sgt. Brittani Barone.
A worker at the scene said the fire had been suppressed by the time he arrived, just after midnight.
Another who lives in Monkton said he lost power the night before, but it had been restored in just a couple of hours.
Ferrisburgh fire chief Bill Wager said such tanker trucks are equipped with a venting system with a release when a maximum pressure is reached to prevent an explosion.
“The venting system worked perfectly,” Wager said. “The container did what it was supposed to do.”
Fire fighters were able to spray the fire with water to cool it down. Wager said, in his 46 years of firefighting, it was one of the biggest he’s seen.
About 80 feet of both the north and south lanes of the roadway of Route 7 were damaged three-quarters of an inch deep because of the high temperatures of the fire, said Daniel Shepard with Vermont Agency of Transportation in a release.
Temporary repairs to the roadway to ensure the safety of the road had been made by the next day, Friday, June 2, but more permanent repairs are needed in the near future, he said.
Nine fire departments, including Charlotte, responded to the fire.