LAKE ELSINORE ( — Officials completely reopened a stretch of the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore Wednesday following a tanker fire.

According to California Highway Patrol officers, a 2014 Volvo tractor trailer caught on fire shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday near Nichols Road.


The crash paralyzed the freeway in both directions, stalling traffic for miles between Lake Street and Nichols Road.

A preliminary investigation revealed the tanker, which hauled 8,700 gallons of fuel, experienced a tire blow out while driving on the freeway.

The fire ignited in the underbelly of the vehicle and flames rapidly spread to the trailer.

The driver managed to park the truck on the right shoulder of the freeway and fled before his cab was engulfed by flames.

No injuries were reported.

Riverside County firefighters and a hazardous materials crew assisted to extinguish the blaze and clean up the scene.

Authorities said the fuel contained in the tank trailer was completely burned in the fire.

“Due to the radiating heat from the tanker fire, the roadway surface was damaged,” said CHP Public Information Officer Travis Monks.

Two southbound lanes remained closed overnight for slab repair.

Shortly before 5:30 a.m., crews reopened all lanes of the freeway.