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Paynesville Homes Evacuated Early Friday After Semi Trailer Chemical Fire

08/18/2017 - 11:00 AM

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Paynesville Homes Evacuated Early Friday After Semi Trailer Chemical Fire

Residents in 70 to 100 homes in Paynesville had to be evacuated early Friday morning due to a chemical fire on a semi-trailer.

Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson says they received a call shortly after midnight of a semi trailer on fire. The driver was safe and had unhooked his rig from the trailer, but he reported the trailer's cargo was various chemicals classified as oxidyzers.

The Paynesville Police Department found the trailer fully engulfed in flames and spewing toxic smoke. Law enforcement shut down Highway 23 and diverted traffic. Officials made a decision to create an exclusion zone of 1/2 mile surrounding the chemical fire.

Officers went door-to-door evacuating residents from County Road 85 and Highway 23 to Koronis Hills Golf course to Roseville Road. Residents went to Paynesville High School for several hours until they were allowed back home.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway and part of the highway was still blocked Friday.

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