Highway 169 temporarily closes for fire involving semi

Highway 169 about two miles west of Ely was shut down for about six and a half hours Saturday as the result of a fire involving a semi truck, which was pulling a tanker of gasoline.

The Northland FireWire reports the semi truck was hauling the load of gasoline to Ely around 2:15 Saturday afternoon. Morse-Fall Lake Fire Department Chief Ted Krueger told the Northland FireWire that the brakes of the truck then caught fire and spread to the vehicle’s tires.

The truck driver was able to uncouple the burning vehicle from the tanker, the Northland FireWire reports.

The front of the tanker hit the ground, rupturing a pocket containing 3,400 gallons of gasoline. Fire officials figure about 350 gallons were spilled.

Local road equipment was brought in to contain the spill and the remaining gasoline from the damaged tanker was transferred to another tanker.

No injuries were reported, but the Northland FireWire reports the truck did receive "extensive fire damage."

The Morse-Fall Lake and Ely fire departments responded to the call.