Hamilton

Long delays for Buffalo-bound hockey fans after truck fire on QEW in Grimsby

A truck carrying plastic bottles was engulfed in flames Friday morning eastbound on the QEW at Grimsby, Ont. Hockey fans headed to the Canada-U.S. world juniors game in Buffalo were among those delayed.

The Fort-Erie bound lanes of the QEW were closed for hours Friday, delaying many fans

A truck fire temporarily closed part of the QEW Friday.

What was supposed to be a great Christmas present turned into a long frustrating day for Malcom De Souza when he faced long delays getting to the Canada-U.S. World Juniors hockey game in Buffalo because of a transport truck fire.

The truck caught fire around 7:30 a.m. on the Fort Erie-bound QEW in Grimsby, turning what is normally  a two-hour trip from Mississauga to Buffalo, to a five-hour marathon.

De Souza was still in his car at 3 p.m. game time and expected to miss parts of the first period.

"We were all looking excited to get down here to the game, unfortunately the tractor trailer accident we had to do a couple of detours, so it's been a tough [haul] this morning," De Souza told CBC News while he was in the car with his two kids.

The game tickets were Christmas presents from his 19-year-old son.

He was one of many fans on their way to the game at New Era Field (formerly Rich Stadium) caught in the traffic delays caused by the fire.

Jill Troyer captured video of the event, as seen above.

No one was injured from the fire, says Const. Robert Visconti from Ontario Provincial Police, but the truck that carried about 4,000 kg of plastic water bottles was "fully engulfed" in flames.

After roughly 227,000 litres of water, the fire was under control. But the cold weather brought more bad news.

"It's probably all frozen by now," Visconti said Friday morning

The remnants of a the burned up truck cab are loaded onto a flatbed as part of the cleanup of the truck fire on the westbound QEW near Grimsby on Dec. 29 (Cathy McCullough)

All lanes bound for Fort Erie between Christie Street and Bartlett Avenue on the QEW were closed for about five hours. Two left lanes has since reopened, but the third lane and right shoulder need to be assessed for damage and repaved. It's not clear how long before all lanes will be clear.

The Ministry of Transportation has been made aware of the potential damage.

The traffic overflowed into the suburban roads that De Souza was taking. He finally got to the Peace Bridge at around 3 p.m.

"We were actually just going to drive there and watch the game and then drive back, but I don't even know if I want to drive back because you hit these snow squalls on the way too."