Trailer carrying firearms catches fire on I-70

Thursday, September 4, 2014
The remains of a camper trailer that caught fire while driving on Interstate 70 that also contained multiple firearms and ammunition caused no injuries despite dangerous circumstances. (photo courtesy of Reelsville Volunteer Fire Department)

A fifth-wheel camper trailer carrying firearms and ammunition caught fire near mile marker 31 on Interstate 70 Thursday morning, closing down traffic in both directions for approximately one hour.

According to Putnam County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Craig Sibbitt, Michael Hall, 35, Kingston, Okla., stopped along the shoulder of the interstate approximately 10 miles west of Cloverdale after noticing smoke coming from the camper-trailer he was towing.

Once pulled over, Hall found he was unable to disconnect ignited trailer from the pickup truck. Luckily he had a torch in his truck which he was able to use to cut the vehicle free from the ignited trailer before the pickup also caught fire.

Inside the trailer was an SKS semi-automatic rifle and a 30-30 rifle as well as ammunition for each; additionally the trailer also contained ammunition for a .22 rifle.

Eventually the ammunition began to discharge in the burning camper, adding to the danger.

No injuries were reported.

Traffic was diverted around the incident via U.S. 231 and U.S. 40 until the scene was declared safe and extensive cleanup was performed.

The Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department, Greencastle Fire Department and Reelsville Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the incident at 10:36 a.m. and cleared the scene at 1:30 p.m.

Indiana State Police were also on the scene.

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