A refrigerated tractor-trailer partially loaded with food was destroyed Wednesday night when a fire broke out in the truck, which was parked next to a loading bay in what fire officials described as a huge industrial warehouse off Hemco Road in South Portland.

South Portland Fire Department spokesman Robb Couture said the warehouse at 54 Hemco Road is owned by the Hannaford supermarket chain.

When crews arrived around 8:20 p.m., the truck was engulfed in flames and there was zero visibility as dense smoke came from the building.

Couture said intense, fast-moving fire destroyed the truck and spread to a second trailer, as dozens of employees were evacuated from the building. The building sustained minor structural damage.

Couture said there was a significant loss of food from the fire. Hannaford officials were at the scene and assessing damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]