‘Driver did an excellent job:’ No injuries after semi hauling food caught fire on I-43 SB near Keefe

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MILWAUKEE -- Officials are investigating a semi fire that caused major delays on I-43 Friday morning, August 2.

It happened around 11:15 a.m.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said the southbound I-43 off-ramp at Keefe Avenue would remain closed for several hours for cleanup.

Thankfully, there were no injuries, and the contents of the semi were not hazardous. However, the fire did cause big traffic backups in the area, and concern among neighbors.

"I heard a 'boom, boom,'" said Lawrence Griffin.

Griffin said he was in bed when the flames erupted outside his home near Keefe Avenue.

"My wife had already saw what happened, and she came back and told me that she called 911," said Griffin.

PHOTO GALLERY

The scene captured the attention of drivers, including a FOX6 crew headed to an assignment Friday morning. FOX6 recorded cellphone video showing the moment the driver pulled onto the exit ramp at detached the tractor from the trailer.

"The driver did an excellent job getting it off the freeway system, disconnecting, so that the fuel wasn't going to be involved, and the driver was able to pull away," said Brian Gardner, MFD battalion chief.

Gardner's crews put out the flames within minutes, as bystanders gathered overhead to get a glimpse at what was inside.

"We came and walked across the bridge, and we seen that there was a lot of boxes, and they cut the truck open and tried to put the fire out," said Angelica Harbor.

Officials said it was believed the semi was carrying some kind of food.

"I want to know, how did the fire start?" said Harbor.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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Semi truck fire on I-43 near Keefe

Semi truck fire on I-43 near Keefe

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