Chief Michael B. Mansfield
32 North Main St.
Andover, MA 01810
For Immediate Release
Monday, Oct. 30, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Fire Rescue Responds to Chemical Fire on Interstate 495, Hazardous Materials Team on Scene
Highway Closure Will Have Major Impact on Evening Commute, Motorists Urged to Avoid the Area and Seek Alternative Routes
ANDOVER — Chief Michael Mansfield reports that Andover Fire Rescue is on scene at a chemical fire on the northbound side of Interstate 495 that has resulted in the highway being closed indefinitely.
At 11:36 a.m., Andover Fire Rescue received a report of a hazardous materials situation and a truck fire on I-495 – just north of the Interstate 93 and I-495 interchange.
Upon arrival, firefighters learned that the driver of a tractor trailer hauling hazardous waste had been notified by other truck drivers that smoke was coming from his vehicle.
The driver immediately pulled over and, after seeing the smoke, detached the trailer from the truck and called 911.
After obtaining the truck’s manifest from the driver, crews determined that there was a mixed supply of hazardous waste – more than 1,000 gallons of liquids and an unknown quantity of solid material — on board.
Chief Mansfield requested a Tier 1 hazardous response, calling in the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services District 6 Hazardous Materials Response Team. Soon after, a Tier 2 response was called, bringing in additional personnel and equipment. Approximately 20 hazardous material technicians are currently on scene.
A preliminary investigation indicates that the fire was caused after some of the material on the truck came into contact with a different kind of material, initiating a reaction. Several explosions from combustible materials have occurred within the trailer, which is still on fire.
Crews are closely monitoring the truck and working to contain the fire. Procedures have been put in place to minimize extension outside the vehicle and into Fish Brook watershed.
The hazardous response team is also monitoring the area by air to prevent any risk to residents and motorists in the area. At this time, no one has been evacuated from their homes.
Drivers are strongly urged to avoid the area and seek alternate routes, as I-93 north to Route 28 is closed. All traffic on I-495 northbound is being diverted onto I-93 to Route 213.
This is a breaking news update. More information will be released as it becomes available.