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Semi-truck fire shuts Lakeville Highway intersection east of Petaluma

A poultry truck burst into flames Thursday, threatening an apartment complex and gas station in east Petaluma.

Firefighters quickly knocked down the blaze before it could spread to the Valero gas station and nearby apartments on Baywood Drive, Petaluma Fire Acting Battalion Chief Chad Costa said. The fire came close - about 20 feet from the gas pumps, he said.

“We were just trying to keep people back and knock down the fire before it spread to Valero and the apartment building,” said Costa, among the first firefighters to arrive at the scene.

The fire was reported at 5:20 p.m. by multiple bystanders who saw the burning 18-wheeler Petaluma Poultry truck pull off Lakeville Highway and onto Baywood Drive, next to the gas station. The blaze that started in the rear chicken carrier sent massive plumes of black smoke into the air and damaged a streetlight pole, a Valero sign and landscaping, Costa said.

The driver escaped injury, Costa said. The man, who was not identified, was able to detach the cab from the trailer, which was fully engulfed by flames.

No chickens were on board.

The fire, which temporarily shut down a section of Baywood Drive, remains under investigation.

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