UPDATE: I-70 now open after vehicle fire in Eisenhower Tunnel | SummitDaily.com

UPDATE: I-70 now open after vehicle fire in Eisenhower Tunnel

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.

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The Colorado Department of Transportation is reporting that I-70 is closed in both directions at Eisenhower Tunnel due to an incident inside the tunnel.

A Colorado State Patrol spokesman said the incident was a vehicle fire but had no other information about possible injuries or the severity of the fire. CDOT representatives could not immediately be reached.

The tunnel has an extensive fire suppression system and typically sees several vehicle fires a year.

At this time, there is no estimated time to open. Expect delays. 

This story will be updated.

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