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Eisenhower Tunnel Fire Suppression Test Gets Real


BECAUSE OF IT. LIFE FROM COLORADO’S NEWS CHANNEL, THIS IS CBS4 NEWS AT 6 PM. WITH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CARS PASSING THROUGH THE EISENHOWER TUNNEL EVERY DAY, SAFETY OF COURSE A TOP PRIORITY. A FIRE IN THE TUNNEL COULD BE DISASTROUS. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT. MATT, LIVE AT THE TUNNEL TONIGHT AND LUCKILY, THEODORE WAS READY FOR THIS ONE. Reporter: THEY HAVE A FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM THAT IS ACTUALLY BUILT INTO THE ROOF OF THE TUNNEL. THAT WORKED LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO. IT HELPED THEM GET EXTRA TIME TO GET THE CRUISE UP HERE FROM SUMMIT COUNTY TO PUT THE FIRE OUT. DRAMATIC VIDEO FROM INSIDE THE EISENHOWER TUNNEL, IS A BOX TRUCK CATCHING FIRE, ABOUT 500 FEET INSIDE THE EASTBOUND ENTRANCE. IT IGNITED THE FRONT OF THE BOX TRUCK, THE BOX TRUCK STARTED BURNING, THE OWNER OF THE BOX TRUCK GOT OUT OF HIS VEHICLE, TRY TO PUT THE FIRE OUT WITH A FIRE TEXTING WAS. Reporter: CREWS RESPONDED BY SHUTTING THE TUNNEL DOWN. AND LAUNCHING THE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM. THAT DID WORK AS INTENDED, IT SPRAYS ABOUT 1000 GALLONS A MINUTE. AND DROPPED 1000 GALLONS A MINUTE ONTO THIS BURNING TRUCK. Reporter: AT THE FLAMES DOWN GIVING PEOPLE INSIDE THE TUNNEL, TIME TO ESCAPE THE HEAVY SMOKE AND HEAT. WE HAD ABOUT SIX OF OUR OVERHEAD LIGHTS THAT WERE MELTED, WE HAD A CERAMIC CEILING TILE, THAT WORKED A LITTLE BIT FROM THE HEAT. Reporter: LOCAL FIRE CREWS CALLED IN TO FINISH THE JOB. THE INCIDENT DOES BRING ATTENTION TO THE DANGER WITH FIRE INSIDE THE TUNNEL. AND WHY THAT MULTIMILLION DOLLAR SYSTEM WAS INSTALLED IN THE FIRST PLACE. EVEN BEFORE THE FIRE, CDOT WAS PLANNING A TEST OF THE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM, THAT TEST WAS PLANNED FOR TONIGHT, AND THAT IS STILL A GO. IF YOU ARE HEADING UP HERE TO

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