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Charred metal is all that's left of a semi truck after fire engulfed the truck and trailer 3 miles west of West Fargo off I-94 early Wednesday, July 16, 2014, morning. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Narrow escape for semi driver in I-94 truck fire

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WEST FARGO – A semi driver had a narrow escape Wednesday morning after pulling over for a nap and discovering his truck was on fire just before the flames engulfed the entire rig, state Highway Patrol officials said Wednesday.

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Sgt. Troy Hischer said the driver had just pulled over off Exit 340, 3 miles west of West Fargo at about 2:45 a.m. to take a nap when he spotted a glow near the driver’s side rear axle.

It turned out to be a fire that had likely sparked when the truck had either blown a flat or had a bearing problem, Hischer said.

The driver jumped out to tackle the blaze with a fire extinguisher, but by the time fire departments arrived, the truck had burned to the bare frame, Hischer said.

The truck had been hauling a load of Styrofoam.

“That stuff burned real fast,” Hischer said.

Mapleton, Casselton and West Fargo fire departments responded to the fire, he said. 

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