The Capital Beltway near Silver Spring could be widened under a multi-year state plan to add toll lanes to the Beltway and Interstate 270. The Montgomery County Council is suggesting I-270 work get priority. Credit: Bethesda Beat File from I-495 traffic cameras

A tractor trailer loaded with candy caught fire Monday night on the Beltway in Silver Spring, causing the inner loop of the highway to close for nearly two hours.

The fire broke out in the truck at about 11 p.m. after the exit for Georgia Avenue, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said Tuesday. Flames started in the cab and then spread to the trailer, which was packed with large pallets of Ring Pops, Swedish Fish and other types of candy.

Firefighters arrived to find a heavy fire, which caused the front half of the trailer to burn up and buckle, Piringer said. After flames burned through the roof of the trailer, creating a hole, firefighters were able to use an aerial ladder with a hose to soak the trailer.

Piringer said a tow company then unloaded the contents of the trailer so firefighters could soak them again.

The driver was not injured.

All lanes of the inner loop of I-495 past Georgia Avenue were closed until about 12:50 a.m., according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. At that time, two lanes remained closed, but were reopened at 4:30 a.m.


Piringer said the fire was likely caused by a mechanical issue.