Burning Quarters

Tom informed me of an article about an armored truck carrying over 3 million newly minted Kansas state quarters that caught on fire. Here’s the news article.

Everyone has heard of pennies from heaven, but what about quarters in hell?

The trailer of an American Armored transfer truck carrying $800,000 in quarters caught fire Tuesday morning while traveling south on I-59, near the Sulpher Springs interchange. The fire burned through the trailer and its interior aluminum containers, causing 16 tons of quarters to spill onto the interstate.

These were not just any quarters. They were freshly minted, commemorative Kansas state quarters, part of the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters program. The Kansas quarters were released Aug. 29.

The American Armored shipment was en route from the Philadelphia mint to Birmingham.

The transfer truck was being driven south on I-59 by Jim Starr, 60, while his son, Jim Starr Jr., 41, armed with a sidearm, rode along. Both work for American Armored, which operates out of Colorado.

According to the younger Starr, an axle or brake on the truck’s trailer started running hot as it passed across the Georgia state line and into Alabama, around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday. He said that resulted in an apparent grease fire, which in turn resulted in a rear tire catching fire, which in turn resulted in the fire that destroyed the trailer.

The trailer burned in the emergency lane of I-59 near the 237 mile marker, about two miles south of the Georgia line. No injuries were reported.

Starr said he attempted to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher routinely carried in the cab of the truck, but the fire was already burning too hot. He said he and his father separated the trailer from the cab, moved the cab a safe distance away and called 911.

He said firefighters from nearby Hammondville Fire Department were on the scene within 15 minutes and fought the fire for about 30 minutes before getting it under control.

Read the full article.

Category - News
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