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Homes evacuated near Paynesville after semi hauling hazardous materials catches fire

PAYNESVILLE - Homes near Paynesville were evacuated early Friday morning after a semi trailer carrying hazardous materials caught fire.The westbound lane of state Highway 23 is still blocked.

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PAYNESVILLE – Homes near Paynesville were evacuated early Friday morning after a semi trailer carrying hazardous materials caught fire.

The westbound lane of state Highway 23 is still blocked.

A press release from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said law enforcement received at call at 12:16 a.m. of a semi trailer on fire. The driver, who had unhooked from the trailer and moved the tractor to safety, reported that the trailer was carrying various chemicals classified as oxidizers.  

Paynesville Police Department responded and found the trailer fully engulfed and spewing toxic smoke.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office responded and assisted with shutting down the highway and diverting traffic.

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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 dispatch center made phone notification to those affected and Stearns County deputies went door to door evacuating individuals between Stearns County Road 85 and Highway 23 from Koronis Hills Golf course to Roseville Road.

Those displaced from their homes were sheltered at the Paynesville High School for several hours until allowed back into their homes.

The State Patrol was investigating the cause of the incident and were assisted by the Paynesville Fire Department and St. Cloud Fire Department Hazmat team.

Part of the highway is still blocked.

Related Topics: PAYNESVILLE
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