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Truck carrying cars catches fire on I-94 near Fergus Falls

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - Traffic was backed up for miles on Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls on Friday night after a truckload of cars caught fire. On Friday, Feb. 10, about 8 p.m., emergency crews responded to mile marker 54 where the car carrier wa...

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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - Traffic was backed up for miles on Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls on Friday night after a truckload of cars caught fire.

On Friday, Feb. 10, about 8 p.m., emergency crews responded to mile marker 54 where the car carrier was fully engulfed in flames.

Lt. Heath Dienger of the Minnesota State Patrol said eight of the 10 cars on the trailer are a total loss. The driver of the truck unhooked the trailer and drove ahead after he realized there was a fire and the tractor did not sustain any damage.

"One vehicle fire in itself is dangerous," said Fergus Falls Fire Chief Mark Hovland, let alone several all at once.

He said there were multiple explosions going on from airbags and tires. What also made the situation dangerous, he said, were the cars on the top level of the trailer that could have rolled off or collapsed if the metal structure caved in.

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It took 6,000 gallons of water to contain the fire, Hovland said. The Elizabeth Fire Rescue assisted at the scene and set up a drop tank on the interstate.

Crews blocked the westbound lanes for about one hour and set up a detour through Fergus Falls. I-94 opened back up after 9:30 p.m., though reduced to a single lane near the trailer, which was being towed from the scene.

Also at the fire Friday night was the Minnesota State Patrol, Otter Tail County Sheriff and the Fergus Falls Police Department. Hovland said he was very pleased with the joint effort of all the agencies working together.

The cause of the fire is believed to be from the rear axle on the trailer, state patrol said.

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