KNOXVILLE – An 18-wheeler fire forced the closure of an exit ramp on Interstate 20 West Friday night.

It happened around 9:45 p.m. on the Knoxville exit ramp near the 52 mile marker.

The truck’s driver, Brandido Ross, told WVUA 23 he started experiencing engine trouble and tried to make it to a service station near the exit. Ross said he heard a boom, the truck sped up, and he was no longer able to control it.

Ross said he managed to get it stopped on the ramp, but could not get the engine to shut off. He smelled smoke and called firefighters. But, according to Ross, it took firefighters over a half hour to reach, and during that time the engine caught fire and the flames spread throughout the cab.

Ross said he attempted put out the flames, but his fire extinguisher did not work. So, he stood and watched the truck burn.

Firefighters were not able to extinguish the fire with water due to diesel fuel. And, Ross said his tanks were close to full.

Firefighters did manages to put the truck out, but not before the cab was completely destroyed. A tow truck was called in to haul the scorched trailer away.

No injuries were reported.

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