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Dump trucks burst into flames on Milwaukee's South side

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 20:22:19-05

MILWAUKEE, WI - A south side fire at an industrial site is under investigation after four dump truck semi-trailers burst into flames at 924 W. Armour Avenue.

According to Milwaukee Fire Battalion Chief, Sean Slowey, the flames were so intense the bulk of southside fire companies responded —and witnesses said they could hear what sounded like an explosion and see thick clouds of smoke in the air from miles away. 

“Boom, boom, boom, boom," said Jesus Nañez, describing the sound. 

According to Nañez, who lives and owns a business about a block away from the truck site, the impact of the tires blowing on the trucks was so intense it shook his home. 

“[After the first one] we continued to hear explosions probably a total of 12 to 13 sporadic throughout," Nañez said. 

Then almost instantly, thick, black smoke was seen for miles billowing from a fire at an industrial site on Milwaukee's southside after four dump truck semis were fully engulfed in flames. Battalion Chief Sean Slowey said it started with one truck then spread to the others. 

“The whole aluminum back end of this tractor trailer dump truck is gone," Slowey said. "It’s all burnt away."

According to the chief, the fire reached scorching temperatures between about 1,500 and 1,700 degrees. Slowey said his crews have confirmed which truck caught fire first but it’s how it happened that has yet to be determined. 

“According to the owner, they were winterized and not used in the last two weeks so we’re guessing it’s electrical in nature," Slowey said. "But that’s what our arson investigators are trying to determine right now."

No one was injured, but it's estimated the fire resulted in thousands of dollars in property damage. 

Police confirm they are investigating, but at this time they cannot confirm arson as the cause.