Truck Fire Causes Hwy 23 Shutdown and Evacuations in Paynesville 18 Aug 17

(KSTP/Paynesville, MN) A semi trailer fire forced a closure and initial evacuation along westbound Highway 23 in Paynesville Township early this morning (Friday).

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the semi truck containing hazardous materials was traveling westbound on the highway when a fire started in its trailer.

The incident happened at about 12:19 a.m.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they found the trailer engulfed in flames and emitting toxic smoke. The driver told authorities the trailer was hauling various chemicals classified as oxidyzers.

As a precaution, the patrol says roughly 15 to 20 people were evacuated from their homes. Those affected were allowed to return home roughly three hours later.

The state patrol reported there were no injuries.

Westbound lanes were expected to remain closed until mid-morning for cleanup.