Part of southbound U.S. 31 bypass still closed after tanker fire

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

A portion of southbound U.S. 31 bypass in St. Joseph County could be closed for as long as a week after a fuel tanker caught fire and damaged the road.

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

The fire, which sent flames high into the predawn sky, happened around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Sep. 3, in the southbound lanes near the Ardmore Trail area and resulted in the closure of the bypass between Mayflower Road and Nimitz Parkway, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at ABC 57.

South Bend Fire Capt. Nick Tekler says the driver pulled onto the highway’s shoulder after seeing the brakes and tire were on fire. The flames spread to the tanker carrying about 8,500 gallons of gasoline.

The fire destroyed most of the tanker and partially melted a nearby road sign. The fire caused damage to the pavement and melted a portion of the guard rails, ABC 57 reported, but there were no injuries reported.

The severity of the damage may result in the road having to be repaved in that area.

(Photo supplied/Google Maps)

Some homes along Sundown and Orange Roads had to be evacuated during the blaze, but people were allowed back into their home when the flames were extinguished.

The northbound lanes of U.S. 31 were re-opened around 1 p.m. on Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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