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I-15 bridge collapse : Damage from freeway bridge fire hits $10m
I-15 bridge collapse : Damage from freeway bridge fire hits $10m

I-15 bridge collapse : Damage from freeway bridge fire hits $10m

All lanes of Interstate 15 in Hesperia remained shut down Monday night as crews battled a bridge fire ignited by a welder’s torch.

The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. at the Ranchero Road overpass construction site, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The north and southbound lanes of I-15 were closed for commuter safety after the firefighters arrived and discovered a well-established fire that carried across the entire bridge project, according to the fire department. They said efforts to put out the fire were hampered by weather conditions.

“Falling debris and ongoing collapses prevented crews from fighting the fire from beneath the structure,” a statement from the fire department reads. “Once personnel pulled back out of the collapse zone, constant winds of 25 mph with 35 mph gusts kept hose streams from penetrating deep into the bridge and to the seat of the fire. These same winds contributed to the quick spread as flames were pushed through the construction area much like a wildland environment.”

Investigators said the fire was caused by a rebar-cutting operation that was part of the construction project. Blowtorches carried fire into the falsework of the bridge and initial efforts to extinguish the flames were unsuccessful because of the high wind, they said.

While I-15 is closed, drivers traveling in both directions are being taken off of the interstate at the Ranchero exits and put back on at the Ranchero on-ramps, according to the fire department.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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