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Truck hauling elephants catches fire near Tennessee-Georgia state line


Firefighters from Chattanooga got a surprise early this morning when they responded to a call about a semi truck fire along eastbound I-24 and were greeted at the scene by a trio of African elephants.

Elephants Unloaded From Burning Truck

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a call about a truck fire on I-24 near the Tennessee-Georgia state line around 2 a.m. today.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they soon spotted three elephants along the side of the interstate.

The tractor portion of the truck had caught fire for unknown reasons, so the owners of the elephants unloaded the animals from the trailer to prevent them from being injured if the fire spread.

The elephants were given hay to eat as firefighters battled the blaze. After the fire was out, the elephants’ owners were able to procure another truck. They loaded the animals back into the trailer and continued on their journey to Sarasota, Florida.

No human or animal injuries were reported.

Just “Another Day At The Office” For Fire Fighters

In a post shared on Facebook, the Chattanooga Fire Department shared details and photos of the unusual incident. They wrote:

Elephants on I-24…Another Day in the Office

So what is that peeking its large head over a guardrail on the interstate you might ask? An African elephant! There were actually three of them. Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan said they got the call of a reported tractor-trailer fire on I-24 East around 2:00 a.m. It was actually just across the state line in Georgia. Firefighters with Quint 3, Tanker 3, Squad 20 and Squad 1 (Green Shift) responded. Chief Morgan said the tractor was on fire, but the trailer was not. The owners got the elephants safely out of the trailer and gave them some hay to munch on while firefighters put the fire out.

Chief Morgan said the elephants were HUGE, but well behaved. With the fire out, the owners made some calls to get another tractor to their location. After that, they continued on their way to Sarasota, Florida. Our firefighters did not take any photos, for fear of spooking them with the flash. However, Firefighter Engineer Matthew Rorex and Eddie Reevesfound this photo, which was taken by Tracy Beavers with Puckett EMS TN / N.GA and shared on Facebook. So now we’re sharing it with you! Fire Engineering.

The elephants are from Indiana and they are spending the winter in the warmer Florida climate.


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