Nearest fire station unable to respond to I-85 emergency call - CBS46 News

Nearest fire station unable to respond to I-85 emergency call

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Less than 10 minutes after the 911 call came in about a fire underneath I-85, first responders arrived on scene.

“Had to be something that the guys will never forget,” Captain Quentin Campbell said.

Campbell spoke with members of his Virginia Highland team today who responded within six minutes of the getting the emergency call.

“Everyone’s fine, everyone is fine. I talked to the guys this morning. Everyone was pretty much excited from that incident because something like that you don’t see every day,” Campbell said. 

Investigators believe spools of PVC cable underneath I-85 helped fuel the intense flames.

“When you have something like that, the material that was burning, it seemed like it was some type of petroleum-based product anyway. That’s when you saw the dark black smoke, and when it’s in that position underneath an interstate, that just makes it difficult anyway,” Campbell said.

But what started the fire?

We asked CBS46 Public Safety Consultant Mike Brooks. 

“There are some witnesses where apparently one witness who saw what appeared to be a homeless man walking away from the scene. Did this person have something to do with the fire? We do not know,” Brooks said.

Sources tell CBS46 that the closest firehouse, Station 29 on Monroe Drive, which is less than a mile away from the scene, was on another call when the fire started. So Station 19 on North Highland Avenue responded, driving more than two miles in a matter of minutes.

“There are no issues that I see on the response,” Brooks said.

Firefighters will tell you it’s a miracle no one was injured after thousands of pounds of concrete began to fall and the interstate collapsed.

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