MERRIMACK — A tractor-trailer fire on the F.E. Everett Turnpike prompted a rapid response from Merrimack Fire, local police, and state police Monday evening.
The incident occurred near Mile Marker 15.6 on the Turnpike’s southbound lanes.
As units headed to the scene, they learned the trailer was fully engulfed in flames.
The quick-thinking driver had already detached the cab from the trailer, moving it to safety.
Firefighters reached the scene around 7:10 p.m. and discovered the trailer was loaded with bales of peat moss, some of which were ablaze.
The undercarriage and tires were also on fire.
To combat the spreading flames, a second fire engine was called to assist with water supply.
The first engine’s crew managed to suppress the intense fire with its onboard water.
Crews worked diligently to extract and extinguish the burning bales and pallets.
Using an infrared thermal device, firefighters identified and cooled bales that retained high heat levels.
Once the fire was put out, an inspection revealed considerable damage to the trailer’s undercarriage, including several structural supports and tires.
Preliminary reports suggest a brake malfunction as the cause of the fire, which then spread to the peat moss cargo.
Bauchman’s Towing was dispatched to the location to help with the removal of the damaged trailer and its remaining contents.
The peat moss was en route from Quebec to an as-yet-undisclosed destination.
The New Hampshire State Police closed the right travel lane and breakdown lane during the firefighting efforts.
Despite the potential for traffic disruptions, southbound travelers did not face significant delays.