By Bill Kirk
---- — ANDOVER — A dramatic car fire snarled traffic on Interstate 93 South yesterday morning, shutting the ramp from Dascomb Road for an hour while firefighters battled the blaze.
At around 7:02 a.m., the driver of a 2006 Mercedes E-Class pulled the car to the side of the road after smelling smoke, got out safely and called 911.
The fire compromised the gas tank, which allowed gasoline to flow out of the vehicle while it was on fire, said Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield.
As the car erupted into flames, the gasoline flowed down the hill toward a Mass. Department of Transportation sander truck that was just behind the disabled Mercedes.
The flowing gasoline then caught fire, forcing the truck driver to get out of his vehicle, fearing it, too, could go up in flames.
The flaming trail of gasoline reached the truck, catching one of the front tires on fire, Mansfield said. He said firefighters spent about an hour extinguishing the blaze and clearing the scene. The burned-out car was towed by A&S Towing of Wilmington.
The ramp was reopened after the scene was cleared at 8:10 a.m.
There were no injuries.