I-25 reopened near Denver after fuel truck burned for hours

Smoke rises from a truck fire on Interstate 25. (South Metro Fire Rescue)
Smoke rises from a truck fire on Interstate 25. (South Metro Fire Rescue)
Smoke rises from a truck fire on Interstate 25. (South Metro Fire Rescue)

Update: I-25 was fully reopened on Thursday morning.

Interstate 25 was closed for part of Wednesday between Orchard Road and Belleview Avenue near the Denver Tech Center. A crash and vehicle fire sent plumes of black smoke billowing above the highway the day before, resulting in “epic back-ups,” as CDOT put it.

The fire itself was extinguished a little before 3 p.m. Wednesday. Three of five southbound lanes were reopened as of 5:30 p.m., per CDOT. Northbound lanes remained closed for “several more hours.”

The E, F and R rail lines near the highway were reopened but running on a delay as of 3:20 p.m. They may be your best bet to dodge traffic jams on your commute, if you can manage.

Northbound traffic was detoured to C-470, while southbound vehicles were being sent to I-225 and and U.S. 85. Motorists also were detouring to Parker Road via Lincoln Avenue and Dry Creek Road. Tolls were being waived on E-470.

Westbound Orchard Road also was “blocked” near DTC, per Greenwood Village. As of 2 p.m., Greenwood Village suggested University Boulevard for east-west travel. Quebec Street should be avoided.

South Metro Fire Rescue said the crash involved a large fuel tanker. The truck lost a wheel just before the crash, according to The Denver Post. The fire involved 500 gallons of diesel fuel and 500 gallons of various oil types, per South Metro Fire Rescue.

A burned truck on Interstate 25. (CDOT)
A burned truck on Interstate 25. (CDOT)

One person was injured in the wreck, which happened just before noon. A witness told ABC7 that a nearby “road crew” pulled a man from a burning vehicle, adding that there were multiple explosions. CDOT confirmed that two of its employees rescued the driver.

Dayle Cedars reports for the station that a nearby ambulance was able to transport the man to Swedish Medical Center.

As 9News’ Jeremy Jojola pointed out, drivers drove straight over fuel spilling from the burning truck.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.