Tanker truck explodes on Interstate 65 North near Warrior

Aerial view of a tanker truck fire on Interstate 65 North just past mile marker 279 near Warrior, Alabama, Friday, August 15, 2014. (

Flames, heavy smoke and stalled cars. A tanker fire stopped traffic on Interstate 65. It happened while another problem caused another big back-up. Traffic is now flowing again.

It was a slow burn, but firefighters did as much as they could. The only thing drivers could do to get moving again was wait. The wait was long.

One truck and 8,500 gallons of gasoline turned into a big problem.

"We couldn't get really close to it because of the heat. We were in full turnout gear," said Mount High Fire Captain Shane Wilson.

Captain Wilson and dozens of other firefighters rushed to spray down a tanker. The tanker's driver told ABC 33/40 a police officer noticed a small amount of flames while the truck was moving northbound on I-65, so he pulled over near mile marker 279.

Paige Toney wasn't far behind. She stayed in the same spot more than two hours.

"It's just stressful. My kids are about to drive me crazy. They have to go to the bathroom. They are hungry," said Toney.

Air Link 33/40 captured the flames and billowing smoke. Firefighters had a hard time putting out the fire, but sprayed water and spread a lot of foam.

"It puts a layer on top of the gasoline which doesn't allow the fumes to escape. It's actually the gasoline fumes that burn. You can't let the fumes out into the air. It can't mix with oxygen and burn," added Captain Wilson.

Stalled traffic, a dog and three teenagers don't mix either.

"Well, when you are in here with two 14 years olds and a 12 year old, you have to be creative," said Andrea Moates.

The driver of the truck escaped from behind the wheel without getting hurt.

ABC 33/40 Coverage Links:RAW: Aerial view of tanker fire on I-65 NorthRAW: Cell phone video of sceneSLIDESHOW: Tanker truck explosion on I-65 near Warrior