A truck carrying hazardous material caught fire on Interstate 4 in Seffner this morning, but fire crews were able to get the flames out before a bad situation got any worse.
The Tennessee-based tanker was carrying citrus extract, which is flammable. Crews were initially keeping their distance – presumably concerned about a possible explosion – but firefighters were able to attack the fire from the westbound side of the highway.
Photos from the scene showed the cab of the truck was the only part burning. The tanker's flammable payload did not catch fire.
"The load of citrus extract, referred to as Orange Essence, was not affected by the blaze as fire crews successfully extinguished the blaze," FHP's Sgt. Steve Gaskins explained.
The driver, identified by FHP as Clay Philip Rollins of Winter Haven, was able to escape the flames without injury.
Two nearby schools planned to evacuate, but the fire was out before they could mobilize.
The fire was caused by some sort of engine failure, Gaskins added.