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Burning truck slows traffic on Leary Road

ALBANY, Ga. -- A tractor-trailer truck hauling paper products ignited Tuesday morning, spreading to the paper itself and slowing traffic on Leary Road, officials said.

According to a report from the Dougherty County Police Department, the driver of the truck, James Walker Jr., was on the 3900 block of Leary Road when he heard a strange noise behind the cab. When he stopped to investigate, he found his cargo and the truck trailer on fire.

“He immediately disengaged the trailer,” said Sgt. Lee Reynolds with the Dougherty County Police Department. “It was fortunate we had an officer in the area. He saw the smoke and called the fire department at 9:47 a.m.”

Reynolds said the Department of Transportation was called in for assistance when it was required to close the lane for eastbound traffic.

According to Allen Cravey with the Albany Fire Department, faulty brakes were the most likely cause of the fire, which burned the rear tires down to the rims.

“Any time you have a fire enclosed in something like a trailer, it’s more difficult to manage,” Cravey said. “But with 1,200 gallons of water, we took care of it with no injuries.”