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Narrow escape for semi driver in I-94 truck fire

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

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.

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.