A semi-tractor burst into flames Sept. 20, sitting just behind KFC on Newton's east side. 

The truck, hauling grain, burst into flames in the engine compartment after the driver pulled off of I-135 to investigate a smell of smoke. 

"He was driving down the interstate, minding his own business and doing a good job. He started to smell smoke and pulled off onto E. First Street by Newells (Truck Plaza)," said Phil Beebe with Newton Fire/EMS.  "Before long, there were flames showing." 

Smoke and flames were billowing out of the engine compartment when Newton Fire/EMS arrived. The department was dispatched at about 11:02 a.m. 

No one was hurt in the fire, which Beebe said firefighters were able to get under control quickly. One of the department's newer trucks uses a compressed air foam system, which makes fighting gas and diesel fires much easier. 


"One of the things it is really good for is vehicle fires," Beebe said. "They were able to knock it down pretty quickly. Luckily, the fuel tanks next to the cab were not involved or an issue, nor were the tires. Those can create more of a mess."

The driver was interviewed by the Fire Marshall after the fire was squelched. A cause has not yet been determined.