About 15 firemen from North Callaway and Central fire protection districts battled a gasoline tanker truck fire for about one hour early Wednesday afternoon at the Petro Truck Stop in Kingdom City.
"We were lucky the gasoline tanker was empty instead of being full. But it still created a lot of fire and smoke that could be seen several miles away," said Ronnie Huff of the Central Fire Protection District.
Sterling Mitchell of the North Callaway Fire Protection District said a rubber tire under the tanker caught fire and burned a hole in the empty tank.
The fire was reported shortly after noon. The tanker truck was parked about 75 yards from the Iron Skillet restaurant, and arriving firemen assumed it was full of gasoline.
Firemen established a wide area around the tanker, fearing it might explode. After learning from the driver of the truck that the transport tank was emplty, firemen were able to move closer to the blaze.
"The driver was eating lunch at the restaurant when someone alerted him that a truck was on fire," Huff said. "The cause of the fire is unknown. But we believe the fire started in either the cab or the engine of the truck.
"We also were concerned about an explosion of the tanker because it had gasoline fumes in it. We used foam to fight the fire. It's a good thing it was not fully loaded with gas because an explosion would have caused some big problems."
Huff said the gasoline transport truck, which was a total loss, is owned by Transport Delivery Company in Canton. The driver of the truck, he said, was from Waterloo, Ill.