I-81 reopened after early morning tractor trailer fire

Firefighters work to extinguish a tractor trailer fire about 5 a.m. Friday on Interstate 81 in Marathon. CORTLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

MARATHON— A tractor trailer caught fire early this morning on Interstate 81 in Marathon, closing the northbound lane between Whitney Point and McGraw for nearly an hour, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.

No injuries were reported in the Sheriff’s Office news release regarding the fire.

The 2014 Volvo tractor trailer was hauling construction debris at 4:47 a.m. in the northbound lane that stretches through Marathon when the vehicle ignited, according to the department. It was unclear this morning if the tractor or the trailer it was hauling caught fire.

The fire caused the interstate to close for 45 minutes as firefighters and police responded and while the smoke impaired visibility, the release stated. 

The interstate was reopened after the Volvo was moved to a turn-around area in the median for safety, according to the release.

Pino Recycling Inc., of the Bronx, NY, owned the tractor trailer, according to the news release. Both the tractor and trailer had suspended registrations, police said. Officers also discovered there were equipment violations and the truck did not have its required log book, the release noted.

Officers issued the driver, 50-year-old Hector Hernandez of Allentown, PA, traffic citations to answer in Marathon Town court at a later date.

The Marathon and Killawog fire departments responded to the interstate fire, as well as the Broome County Sheriff’s Office and the state police Commercial Vehicle

Enforcement Unit. The state Department of Transportation and CNY Towing also assisted.