A tractor trailer that caught fire at milepost 219 eastbound in Cumberland County this morning just before 4 a.m. has necessitated the closure of a 65-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Breezewood Interchange (#161) and the Carlisle Interchange (#226), only for eastbound traffic.
The trailer, stopped in a construction area at the time, became fully engulfed in fire which spread across both eastbound lanes. The fire destroyed the trailer, spilling its load of cantaloupes across the highway. The driver escaped from the cab unharmed.
The fire has been extinguished, and crews are now working to clean up the scene, which is expected to take several hours. Once the scene has been cleared of all debris, the roadway beneath the truck may need to be repaired because it too was damaged.
Turnpike officials hope to reopen the eastbound lanes by noon today.