FLORENCE, S.C. — A refrigerated truck full of chocolate chips met a bad end Saturday on Interstate 95 just south of the TV Road interchange.
Windy Hill and West Florence firefighters responded about 3:10 p.m. to a report of a burning tractor-trailer on the southbound side of the interstate — a fire that generated a plume of smoke that could be seen from East Palmetto Street.
When Windy Hill firefighters arrived on the scene they found the trailer about 25% involved and set about controlling the fire.
Half an hour later firefighters still climbed around in the trailer trying to get the burning chips extinguished.
Boxes removed from the trailer indicate they were Barry Callebaut, a Belgian chocolate that features a higher percentage of cocoa butter than baking or eating chocolate.
The tractor was uncoupled from the trailer and appeared undamaged.
Windy Hill Fire Chief John DeLung said some of the cargo at the very front of the trailer might be salvageable but it otherwise appeared to be a total loss.
The blaze appeared to start over the trailer's tires.
No injuries were reported in the fire. Interstate traffic was blocked for about 20 minutes and then allowed to flow with lane restrictions around the burned out trailer — the remains of which was likely going to have to be lifted onto a second trailer to be removed from the scene.