Semi fire snarls traffic on westbound I-96

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CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A semi-truck fire on I-96 southeast of Grand Rapids caused a long traffic backup Thursday evening.

The crash happened in the westbound lanes just east of M-6 in Cascade Township. Video sent to 24 Hour News 8 by witnesses shows flames engulfing the cab of the semi as a plume of thick, black smoke rose into the air.

The Michigan Department of Transportation tweeted around 6:40 p.m. that the right lane was blocked. Another tweet at 8:10 p.m. said all lanes were open, though WOOD TV8’s interactive traffic map still showed a backup for about another half an hour.

One driver caught up in the backup, Nick Castanon, said he sat in standstill traffic behind the scene of the fire for about 40 minutes before things started moving slowly. Other drivers on social media reported backups as far back as the exit to Lowell.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and it’s unclear whether anyone was hurt. Castanon said he saw firefighters on the scene but not any ambulances.

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