Just after 4:00a.m. a reported 18 wheeler fire came in just on hundred feet north of the San Jacinto County line in front of Joy Juice Liquor. When Shepard Fire Department arrived on the scene they found an 18-wheel tank truck with heavy fire in the cab. Unknown what was in the tank they were forced to back out.
Cleveland Fire Department was dispatched along with Bear Creek and Splendora. As those units arrived they were told it was an acid in the tanker but unknown what type. Talking with the driver who exited the vehicle when it caught fire he advised it was Methyl Acrylate.
The vapors of this chemical which are heavier than air can travel long distances and is very explosive. It is used in making inks and adhesives.
Still unsure if the tank was breached or how close it was to rupturing due to the intense flames on the front fire crews maintained approximately one-fourth mile distance. Conroe Fire Department Haz-Mat was then requested to make the scene.
Once they arrived it was determined the fire had almost extinguished itself and there was no leak. It was then deemed safe to approach the scene and extinguish the remaining fire and cool the tank.
The stainless steel tank changed color due to the intense heat.
Traffic which was stopped north and southbound has just reopened at 8:30 am but traffic is very heavy.