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TRAILER FIRE ON HIGHWAY 23 REQUIRES HALF-MILE EVACUATION
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On Friday, Aug. 18, at 12:16 a.m., Stearns County Sheriff’s dispatch received a call of a semitrailer on fire on Highway 23 in Paynesville.
The driver had unhooked from the trailer and moved the tractor to safety. He reported that the trailer was carrying various chemicals classified as oxidyzers.
The Paynesville Police Department reponded and found the trailer fully engulfed and spewing toxic smoke.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office assisted in shutting down the highway and diverting traffic.
After consulting with the Paynesville Fire Department and the Minnesota duty officer, it was decided that a half-mile exclusion zone needed to be established. The Stearns County Sheriff’s dispatch made phone notifications to affected residents, and Stearns County deputies went door-to-door evacuating residents between Co. Rd. 85 and Highway 23 from Koronis Hills Golf Course to Roseville Road. The displaced residents were sheltered at Paynesville High School for several hours before being allowed back into their homes.
The Minnesota State Patrol was investigating the cuase of the incident and were assisted by the Paynesville Fire Department and the St. Cloud Fire Department’s hazmat team.
Part of the highway remained block for several hours on Friday, Aug. 18.
August 16, 2017
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