JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - An 18-wheeler carrying furniture to Camp Lejeune caught fire Tuesday morning, destroying the vehicle and everything inside.
According to the Highway Patrol, the 18-wheeler was traveling south on Highway 258, near Pony Farm Road, when the right rear tire of the tractor unit caught fire at about 7 a.m. Trooper Matthew Bryan said a brake problem may have been the cause.
"This is a mechanical piece of equipment and things are going to naturally fail, regardless of what you do to try to protect yourself from it," said Onslow County Fire Marshal Brian Kelly. "So even though you may have it checked out routinely and periodically, it's always important that you can put those pieces together and always be prepared."
The truck driver, Victoria Bradshaw, of Dunn, noticed the fire, pulled over and called 911. She suffered minor injuries while trying to put out the blaze and was taken to Onslow Memorial Hospital.
"She stopped, got out, vacated the truck, noticed that it was beyond her span of control, and called 911," Kelly said.
The 18-wheeler was carrying desks, cabinets and other furniture to Camp Lejeune, said Trooper Bryan. But the fire destroyed all the items and the truck itself. The total damage was estimated at $100,000, Bryan added.
The 18-wheeler was with Super Service, LLC, a trucking company out of Kentucky.
Highways 24 and 258 in the Pony Farm Road and Burton Industrial Park area have since reopened.
"Indications made it unsafe for all parties, for our travelers, first responders, so we detoured traffic to be on the safe side," said Kelly.
Nine agencies responded to the accident, including the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, the Highway Patrol and the Southwest Volunteer Fire Department.