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Main artery in North Bay reopened after trailer fire

A main thoroughfare in North Bay reopened nearly 24 hours after a vehicle fire early Wednesday morning.

Fire officials said a large transport truck carrying 4,000 pounds of hazardous chemicals caught on fire in North Bay around 2:30 a.m. May 31. The cleanup was complete and road reopened around 2 a.m. June 1.

Algonquin Avenue closed in North Bay after trailer fire. May 31/23 (Jaime McKee/CTV Northern Ontario)

It happened on Algonquin Avenue north of the Highway 11/17 bypass.

"The driver came off Highway 11, to head on to 17, noticed the smoke, then the fire and stopped," North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley told CTV News.

"On this was a mixed load of dangerous products including dangerous goods and paint. We had lots of aerosol cans shooting, we had the chlorine in different forms, both liquid and powder form and other pool type chemicals on this truck that we were dealing with."

 Karen Matthews lives near the scene.

"I opened my curtains and I saw flashes of orange in the sky. It’s unsettling because it’s not like anything I’ve ever heard before. I didn’t know if it was a storm or what was going on. I waited up for about 20 minutes when a neighbourhood watch group person then posted what was going on," Matthews told CTV News.

Other residents CTV News spoke to said they could hear the explosions and the smell this morning was very strong.

"We checked all the buildings in the area, in the immediate path of the plume of smoke and we evacuated everybody. It was just the Sobeys employees, about 10 people working," Whiteley said.

"Our diking procedures was to keep as much of the fire water run off and chemical run off from getting into our sewer system. We diked that early, so there’s a lot of water that needs to be taken care of."

No one was injured in the incident, but the road will be closed for most of the day.

"Barricades are Algonquin at Spencer and Shireff," North Bay police said in a news release.

"Motorists are asked to use Stockdale Road as a detour to Airport Road."

There is a large amount of water on the road as a result of the fire that will take a while to clean up, Whiteley said.

Algonquin Avenue in North Bay closed after trailer fire early Wednesday morning. May 31/23 (Jaime McKee/CTV Northern Ontario)

Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Environment are at the scene for investigation and clean-up.

By noon, the clean-up crew had made significant progress.

City crews stayed with police and monitored the scene.

As of 2:50 p.m. Algonquin Avenue is still closed.

In a news release sent at 3:50 p.m., OPP said officers are providing traffic control pending the vehicle removal and clean-up at the scene. They are expecting to remain at the scene for several more hours. Top Stories

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