A fire in the brakes of a semi-truck led to the total loss of the trailer hauling 40,000 pounds of avocados on Thursday morning just outside of Waxahachie.
Firefighters from around the area were dispatched at 11:03 a.m. to the northbound lanes of Interstate Highway 35E near the 391-mile marker.
During the call, the northbound and southbound lanes of traffic was completely shut down at one point. Shortly after 1 p.m., the two outside lanes of southbound I-35 opened with only the inside shoulder and the far left lane closed. Northbound traffic was diverted off the highway in Italy and onto U.S. Highway 77 and State Highway 34.
Forreston Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bobby McBride stated that when crews arrived on the scene, the trailer was already fully involved in flames.
"We got a call that the trailer brakes were on fire on this semi-truck. It also said that fuel was leaking,” McBride said. “Once we got all of the trucks here, water was not an issue it was just getting everything in place.”
McBride stated that the driver of the semi-truck was able to unhook the cab from the trailer and drive it a safe distance away from the fire.
No injuries were reported from the driver or emergency crews.
Providing assistance on the call were members of the Italy, Milford, and Emergency Service District 6 Volunteer Fire Departments. Members of DPS and Milford Police Officers also responded to the scene.
“It is going to take us a while for us to get the fire out because the crates that the avocados were in are (still) burning,” McBride explained. “That is what is hampering putting out the fire is the crates.”
According to the Hass Avocado Board website, avocados had an average selling price of $1.12 in the first quarter of 2017, $1.33 for the second quarter, and $1.45 for the third quarter. Avocados had year-to-date sales totaling $1,761,380.
The board reported that the average unit price for 2014 and '15 was $1.03, but was eight cents lower in 2013 ($0.95).
The Chicago Tribune reported in January that President Donald Trump proposed a 20-percent border tax on Mexican imports. It was reported by the Los Angeles Times in July that the border adjustment proposal was dropped as part of the tax plan.