Fire crews responded to two different incidents in Branch County on Monday.
The first incident happened around 5:30 P.M. on the southbound side of I-69 near U.S. 12 where a semi-tractor trailer cab caught on fire and then exploded, leaving the truck driver with serious burn injuries.
Michigan State Police say the semi-driver, a 50-year old man from Ft. Wayne, Indiana whose name has not been released, called 911 to report his cab was on fire. Troopers said about five minutes later, witnesses reported an explosion and saw the truck driver rolling in flames on the ground.
The area of I-69 was closed for some time as crews battled the flame and cleaned up the scene. The Northbound side North of Fenn Road had the left lane blocked due to the crash as well.
Michigan State Police say the semi's driver was transported by Life Care Ambulance to Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne and then transferred to an Indianapolis hospital burn center for further treatment. The severity of his injuries are unknown at this time.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Transportation reported that the crash was cleaned up and all lanes of I-69 were re-opened just before 9 P.M.
A second call to crews came after 9 P.M. after crews were called to a structure fire in the 100 block of Elm Street. Crews arrived and found heavy fire and smoke on the south side of the house. The Quincy Fire Department was called in to assist in battling the blaze, along with some off duty Coldwater firefighters.
The fire was finally brought under control at 10:45 PM. Crews remained on scene until 1 AM Tuesday yo make sure there were no flare ups. Heavy damage was reported to the first floor apartment in the building. The occupants got out of the dwelling safely.
Officials say they are still trying to determine a cause for the fire. Damage estimates stand at $150,000.
Also helping at the scene were the Branch County Sheriff's Department, Branch County Victims Services, the Coldwater Police Department and Life Care Ambulance.
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