Ripon, CA

Now saying likely Arson, bolt cutters were found where the truck had been parked.


Police dash cam:February 26/09.RIPON,A 48 foot semi truck and trailer loaded with 908 pounds of sodium hydroxide and 612 pounds of industrial strength liquid bleach caught fire at the Flying J truck stop in Ripon.

A truck carrying hazardous chemicals caught fire this morning at a truck stop while the driver was sleeping.

Awakened by another driver whose rig was nearby, the trucker drove his More..flaming rig to a side street to minimize the chances of anyone getting hurt or other trucks catching fire, fire officials said.

Firefighters let the fire burn out because of the chemicals involved -- which included 908 pounds of sodium hydroxide and 612 pounds of an industrial-strength bleach, according to Chief Dennis Bitters of the Ripon Fire Department. There were no reports of injuries.

Fire officials said the fire broke out about 4 a.m. in a 48-foot trailer. As the trucker drove his rig away, flames were shooting from the trailer in all directions, witnesses said.

San Joaquin County emergency responders, Ripon police and firefighters remained at the scene for hours. Workers from a hazardous materials team from the Bay Area worked in he afternoon to remove the chemicals. The trailer will need to be hauled away to a site equipped to handle contaminated materials, authorities said.

Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the fire.