PORTLAND -- An ODOTtruck arriving to help at the scene of a crash on I-205 early Wednesday suddenly erupted in flames, causing a major traffic backup during the morning commute.
The Oregon Department of Transportation vehicle was parked in a southbound lane at the Park Place exit when the fire started. The driver had just gotten out of the incident response truck and was walking toward the police officer on scene when they noticed the fire.
The spectacular flames brought all southbound traffic to a halt for about two hours, including an off-ramp to 82nd Avenue.
Investigators said the fire was especially dangerous because of the explosive items stored in the truck.
ODOT's Incident Response vehicles routinely carry flares and canisters of gasoline - used to assist stranded motorists - which contributed to the intensity of the fire, said Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police. ODOT personnel remained at the scene and inspected the traffic lane where the vehicle fire occurred. The highway was not damaged and the driver was not injured.
Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what sparked the fire.