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South Bend, Ind. – A fuel tanker caught fire on the U.S. 31/20 bypass in South Bend, sending flames high into the predawn sky and damaging the roadway’s pavement.

Police say residents were evacuated from some nearby homes after the fire started about 4:30 a.m. Monday on the city’s far west side near South Bend International Airport. They were able to return a few hours later and no injuries to the trucker or others were reported.

South Bend Fire Capt. Nick Tekler says the driver pulled onto the highway’s shoulder after seeing the brakes and tire were on fire. The flames spread to the tanker carrying about 8,500 gallons of gasoline.

Officials say the pavement was damaged by the heat and the southbound lanes could be closed for a few days for repairs.

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