Truck driver arrested after big rig fire on Interstate 80 | SierraSun.com
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Truck driver arrested after big rig fire on Interstate 80

ABHUTCHISON and ANNE GROGAN, Sierra Sun

A West Sacramento dump truck driver was arrested for alleged arson Wednesday morning after five law enforcement and fire prevention agencies responded to a big rig fire just off westbound Interstate 80 at the Floriston entrance ramp.

When Truckee Fire Protection District personnel arrived on scene, the dump truck and its flat bed trailer were fully engulfed in flames and a brush fire of approximately a quarter acre was burning.

TFPD firefighters extinguished the fire within about 20 minutes, said Truckee Fire Chief Mike Terwilliger. One engine, one water tender and seven personnel responded from Truckee Fire.

According to the witness who reported the blaze via 9-1-1 to Grass Valley dispatch at 9:41 a.m., the driver of the truck stood on the trailer, watching a fire on flat bed equipment burn while simultaneously the cab of the dump truck was in flames, Terwilliger said.

“Obviously, the fire was suspicious in origin,” he said.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said the driver, Carl Golobe, 36, left the scene and was located by Caltrans officials approximately 45 minutes later, and brought back to the scene by the California Highway Patrol. Golobe was questioned at that time. CDF officials made the arrest.

“He was arrested on suspicion of arson based upon witness statements,” said CDF Fire Captain Specialist Clyde Gamma. “A criminal complaint will be filed with the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office.”

The arson investigation is continuing, he said.

Golobe was booked at the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Truckee substation.

Nevada Department of Forestry, California Highway Patrol and NCSO personnel also assisted with the incident.

Terwilliger estimated that the fire caused more than $200,000 in damage.

The vegetation burn was isolated to a state responsibility area.

“That canyon is a wind-swept canyon and that vegetation dries out quicker than other areas,” Gamma said. “But it did burn clean.”

Terwilliger said the small brush fire most likely started as a result of radiant heat from the blazing truck.

“Another week and we would have been chasing a major brush fire,” he said.


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