Update: I-70 open after vehicle fire closes traffic in both directions at Eisenhower Tunnel
January 3, 2018
UPDATE: I-70 is now open in both directions at Eisenhower Tunnel following a vehicle fire.
A small vehicle fire broke out on the westbound side of Interstate 70 inside the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel at around 1:30 p.m., shutting down the interstate in both directions for roughly an hour while crews extinguished the blaze and removed the burned-out SUV.
The fire was small and no serious injuries were reported, a CDOT spokeswoman said. The blaze was not large enough to activate the tunnel's extensive fire suppression system. Fire engines from the Clear Creek County Fire Department and CDOT's own engines stationed in the tunnel extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes.
The tunnel remained closed in both directions until around 2:30 p.m. as fire crews towed out the vehicle and ensured all firefighting equipment was back in place. Both directions of the tunnel were closed because the fire engines stationed there are on both sides and need to be able to maneuver freely between both, spokeswoman Stacia Sellers said.
"For the most part, fires have to be dealt with by fire departments, and we are mainly there to provide support," Sellers said. "Overall, we think having the tunnel closed for only an hour to get a fire cleared is out is pretty good."
Sellers referred questions about the cause of the fire to the Clear Creek County Fire Department.