Fire Marshal: Equipment malfunction caused fire at Amarillo travel center, destroyed 5 semis

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:36 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - AFD crews worked the scene of a fire involving multiple semi-trucks at a travel center off Interstate 40 this morning.

The fire began about 4:03 a.m. at the Hana Travel Plaza on Interstate 40 just east of Amarillo.

After investigating at the scene, the Amarillo Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire was an equipment malfunction.

“We do have five trucks that are pretty much a total loss,” said Cody Snyder, public information officer for AFD.

Officials said one of the semi-trucks contained pool cleaner, an oxidizing agent, which caused it to create oxygen as it burned and “enhance the fire.”

Another truck was filled with recycled plastic, which Snyder said presents a challenge when extinguishing a fire.

One truck driver has been released from the hospital after being treated for minor burns.

“I saw from my passenger side door that the truck next to me was on fire, then [I noticed] my truck was on fire too,” said Orlando, driver of a truck that caught fire. “I didn’t have time to get up and gather my things. Basically I just jumped out my truck. I got some burns on my feet and my hands, but I’m really glad I’m alive.”

Officials said the fire caused toxic smoke due to the plastic materials.

At 6:40 a.m., crews brought the fire under control.

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