44ºF

20,000 pounds of cheese burns in truck fire

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – A Wisconsin semitruck carrying 20,000 pounds of cheese went up in flames after police said the truck's brakes caught fire.

The driver of the truck, which was carrying Kraft and Velveeta cheeses, said the semi's brakes caught fire while the driver was on the highway.

He pulled off into a store parking lot to try to put out the fire himself, but the fire department had to take over.

"It's a very difficult fire once the cheese gets going. We also had a diesel fuel tank on the refrigerated trailer rupture, so the combination of cheese and diesel fuel made for a pretty hot fire," West Allis Fire Department Assistant Chief Kurt Zellmann said.

The driver was able to detach the cab from the truck and leave the scene safely, leaving the cheese behind.

The truck was packed with Kraft and Velveeta cheese and with some of it still in its bag, people wondered if they could bring it home

One woman was cooking up dinner plans in hopes of scoring free cheese. 

"I'm a little upset I didn't get here earlier. I think I might want to rummage through it. We'll be eating good tonight if I can get some cheese," Amber Matthews said.

But firefighters quickly extinguished any cheesy dinner dreams. 

"There is no cheese savable in that trailer," Zellmann said.

Clean up crews arrived and threw everything away.

"This really breaks my heart to see the cheese all melted up," Jim Wendt said.

The cheese was believed to have been heading out of state.

"I think it gives a whole new meaning to grilled cheese," Robin Larson said. 

Read more:WTMJ