Trailer Hauling Hazardous Materials Catches Fire Near Billings

An apparent brake system malfunction caused the fire

By Dillon Tabish

BILLINGS — A trailer hauling hazardous materials burst into flames and exploded, causing a grass fire along Interstate 94 in Montana.

The Montana Highway Patrol says a FedEx semitractor was towing three trailers east of Billings Wednesday afternoon when an apparent brake system malfunction caused the fire.

Trooper Joshua French says another driver flagged down the truck driver to alert him to the fire. The driver was unable to extinguish the fire, so he disconnected the trailers and moved the semitractor away.

One trailer was holding six one-pound containers of organic peroxide. Worden Volunteer Fire Chief Lance Taylor says the trailer exploded three times before firefighters arrived, sparking a fire that burned 5 acres of grass alongside the road. Taylor says the driver also was hauling unidentified vaccines and candy.

The truck driver was not injured.