Interstate 15 Bridge Catches Fire And CollapsesBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - May 6, 2014
Interstate 15 in Hesperia is closed after a bridge collapsed due to a fire.
The fire was accidentally set by a construction worker who was working on the bridge.
The construction worker was using a blowtorch when he accidentally ignited the wooden supports of the Ranchero Road overpass bridge.
Local fire departments responded to the fire and worked to extinguish it.
The fire was not an easy one to fight and the firefighters had limited access to water and struggled with containing the fire to a small area so it did not spread to the entire wooden bridge.
The fire and collapse resulted in traffic being backed up for more than 6 miles.
One worker suffered smoke inhalation as a result of the fire but no one else injured.
Several of the workers were still working when the fire broke out and were unaware of it. They were all evacuated before the bridge collapsed.
Several people witnessed the incident.
Bumper to bumper on the 15 south in Hesperia near bridge collapse. Traffic rerouted but still crawling en route to LA pic.twitter.com/5TYWAOy9LN
— Kareen Wynter (@kareennews) May 6, 2014
Currently watching as the US 19 bridge is about to collapse
— Kendall Robertson (@kendallbean11) May 6, 2014
Others applauded the efforts of the rescue workers and police who helped close down the road and make sure everyone around it was safe.
I applaud all the first responders who kept people safe during this awful accident. We'll work to get I-15 reopened. http://t.co/p2Qc3FhcjC
— Rep. Paul Cook (@RepPaulCook) May 6, 2014
The bridge had been under construction since 2013 and crews are not sure how long it will take to repair and rebuild it.
“The Cajon Pass is going to be a nightmare for the next 24 to 48 hours at least,” San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Josh Wilkins said. “So if at all possible, avoid it altogether, because there is just no way they’re going to open it any time soon.”
Drivers can use alternate routes including interstates 138 and 18 to get around the closed interstate and the bridge.
The fire and bridge collapse were caught on tape.
Image via News Inc