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U.S. 61 closed down after tires of semi catch fire

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Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 5:38 pm | Updated: 5:40 pm, Mon Dec 10, 2012.

MAQUOKETA, Iowa — U.S. 61 in Maquoketa was closed down about 45 minutes Monday afternoon after the wheels on a semi-tractor trailer pulling a loaded cattle truck caught fire.

Fire Chief Mark Beck said the back duals of the semi caught fire possibly from the brakes overheating at 1:14 p.m. Monday. The fire department, Maquoketa Police and Iowa State Patrol were on scene for three hours.

Beck said two of the 39 cows on board fell through the floor of the trailer because of the fire. Dr. Khristian Becker of Maquoketa came and euthanized the animals. The remaining cattle were loaded onto another semi.

Beck said the driver of the truck pulled onto the shoulder of the road and firemen had to secure the vehicle because it was leaning toward the ditch.

Troopers from the Iowa State Patrol closed the highway for periods of time over a three-hour time span, equaling 45 minutes. The name of the livestock company was not available. No one was injured.

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