A Los Angeles County Fire Department truck moves quickly to scene. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Truck hauling furniture catches fire, triggers small oil spill

A furniture-hauling truck caught fire as it made its way through the Grapevine on Friday morning, spilling about 10 gallons of engine oil and prompting a response by firefighters specially trained in handling hazardous materials.

Shortly after 4:20 a.m., the cab of a semi hauling furniture along the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 caught fire about 3 miles north of Lake Hughes Road.

“The call came in for a semi with its cab fully involved,” Sky Cornell, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The truck driver was not injured.

Firefighters who got the scene at 4:31 a.m. reported engine oil leaking from the burning truck.

The first of two Health HazMat units were dispatched to the incident at 5:25 a.m., Cornell said.  The second HazMat crew responded an hour later.

“About 10 gallons of engine oil leaked,” he said, noting the spill was contained on a dirt portion of the right shoulder of I-5.

A Hazardous Materials Spill Report on the incident filed with the Governor’s Office Emergency Services lists nine gallons spilled.

“A mechanical problem occurred in the engine compartment of a freight tractor trailer,” the OES report states.

“The incident resulted in a vehicle fire and a motor oil release.  The local fire department and Caltrans are on-scene. The fire has been extinguished and a cleanup is in progress,” the report concludes.

A Sig alert was issued during the course of the cleanup and lifted at 9 a.m.

Caltrans units and Health HazMat crews were still at the scene as of 11 a.m.

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