Tractor-trailer fire in Frederick Co. causes massive I-270 southbound delays

Tractor-trailer fire shuts down all lanes of I-270 South in Frederick County on Wednesday morning

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A massive tractor-trailer fire caused traffic delays for hours Wednesday morning on Interstate 270 in Frederick County, Maryland.

All southbound lanes were closed for around eight hours while crews cleaned up from the fire. Traffic is getting by the scene and all lanes reopened by 5 p.m., according to Maryland State Police.

Before 6 a.m., a driver pulled up beside the tractor-trailer and motioned that the vehicle was on fire near mile marker 25 on southbound I-270, according to Maryland State Police.

“When the driver pulled over, the tractor-trailer became fully engulfed in flames,” police told WTOP.

Listeners who called the WTOP Traffic Center described the tractor-trailer as completely “ablaze”

When Frederick County fire and rescue crews arrived on the scene at approximately 5:57 a.m. to put out the fire, the driver was already out of the vehicle, officials said.

Most of the fire had been extinguished by 7:22 a.m., with some hotspots remaining, according to the fire department. After the bulk of the flames were knocked down, crews moved the cargo inside of the truck out onto the roadway to prevent it from reigniting, a fire spokeswoman told WTOP.

Fire crews cleared the scene at 12:15 p.m and investigators don’t believe anything hazardous was on the truck, the spokeswoman told WTOP.

Moving the truck’s contents out of the roadway extended the closure for a couple of hours after the flames were extinguished.

For much of the day, first responders diverted I-270 southbound traffic between Maryland Route 80 to Urbana on Exit 26 and Maryland Route 109 towards Hyattstown on Exit 22.

No one was reported injured.

This is a developing story. Stay with WTOP for updates.

Firefighters put out a blaze on I-270. (Courtesy Frederick County Fire and Rescue)
A tractor-trailer on fire on I-270. (Courtesy 7News, SkyTrak7)
Firefighters battle a blaze on I-270 caused by a tractor-trailer fire. (Courtesy Frederick County Fire and Rescue)
Firefighters have mostly put out a tractor-trailer on fire on I-270, with some hotspots remaining. (Courtesy Frederick County Fire and Rescue)

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Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

Mary DePompa

WTOP Traffic Reporter, Mary de Pompa has a great understanding of the D.C.-area gridlock, being a third-generation Washingtonian. If you see more than she says, call Mary on the WTOP Traffic Hotline at 202-895-5048 or email her at

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