A tractor-trailer truck fire shut down both U.S. Route 15 southbound lanes just north of the Maryland border for about an hour early Friday morning.

There were no injuries as a result of the 4:05 a.m. fire, which was south of the Taneytown exit near mile-marker 5, according to Barlow Fire Chief Eric Hubbard.

About 20 firefighters responded to battle the blaze, officials said.

“The trailer was halfway involved when we got there,” Hubbard said.

The fire took “about two hours” to clear because the trailer was laden with “some hazardous materials,” such as lithium-ion batteries, according to Hubbard.

“We had to use precautionary procedures,” Hubbard said, noting the potentially hazardous matter.

Emergency responders were initially not sure if the batteries had caught fire, he said. After cutting an opening through the back door of the trailer, firefighters realized the batteries did not catch fire, he said.

“They are water reactive,” Hubbard explained. “If we would have put water on it, it would have been a much larger fire.”

A type of foam, identified as “Class A,” was used as a precaution since they knew the items were in the trailer, Hubbard said. For most vehicle fires, the department regularly carries foam to use, he said.

The fire originated with the brakes on the trailer, which then ignited the trailer, according to Hubbard.

Both U.S. Route 15 southbound lanes were shut down for one hour with one lane then opening to allow traffic flow, Hubbard said.

The tractor-trailer truck is “probably a total loss,” he said. Hubbard was not sure about a cost estimate on damages.

Responding agencies included Barlow Volunteer Fire Department, Harney Volunteer Fire Company, Vigilant Hose Company, Gettysburg Fire Department, Greenmount Community Fire Department, Adams Regional Emergency Medical Services, and several different fire police agencies, according to Hubbard.

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