Overheated brakes cause big-rig fire on 5 Freeway

A big-rig fire that shut down four lanes on the southbound Golden State (5) Freeway Monday afternoon was caused by overheated brakes, authorities said.

California Highway Patrol officers were pursuing the big rig driver, who may have been under the influence of alcohol, after receiving reports that he was driving slow while not staying in his lane, according to CHP Sgt. Becky Lynch.

During the pursuit, authorities noticed smoke coming from the tires under the trailer as the driver reached Hollywood Way on the 5 Freeway in Burbank, at which point officers pulled their patrol car up in front of the truck to get the driver to stop.

A Sigalert was issued just before 1 p.m.

As officers removed the driver from the truck, the flames began to pick up. Los Angeles firefighters responded to the scene to extinguish the fire.

As of 1:31 p.m., just one lane, as well as the Hollywood Way on-ramp to the southbound 5 Freeway, remained closed, according to the CHP online incident log.

The driver, who could not immediately be identified, was transported to the hospital as a precaution, Lynch said.

No injuries were reported.

Alcohol may have been a factor in the incident, though the investigation remained ongoing, Lynch said.

-- Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek

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