Driver uninjured after flames engulf semi-truck carrying produce

A semitrailer carrying produce caught fire Wednesday night, closing all northbound lanes and one southbound lane of Interstate 295 on Jacksonville’s Southside for several hours, authorities said. It happened about 8:30 p.m. at J. Turner Butler Boulevard, near the St. Johns Town Center. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the right front tire of the semi “went down.” The driver then pulled over and that’s when he saw smoke coming from the hood. Troopers said the driver then pulled up the hood and saw flames, but before he could grab a fire extinguisher, the blaze had taken over. That’s when he grabbed his belongings from inside the semi and ran. Troopers said the driver was not injured, but the semi was a total loss. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department crews were called to clean up spilled fuel on the ground. The Highway Patrol continues to investigate.