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Columbus Township and German Township firefighters work at the scene of a semi trailer fire at 3:22 p.m. Monday at the 72.5 mile marker in the Interstate 65 north bound lanes about three miles north of the Columbus exit. Submitted

A semitrailer that caught fire in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 north of Columbus closed the interstate for several hours Monday afternoon.

Columbus Township and German Township firefighters were sent to the 72.5 mile marker north of the Columbus exit at 3:22 p.m. after a semitrailer filled with canned food caught fire, said German Township Deputy Chief Matt Lynch.

Columbus Township Chief Dave Thompson saw the fire and called it in as the semi driver was unhooking his vehicle from the trailer on the shoulder of the interstate, Lynch said.

The fire damaged the trailer and contents in an area above the rear wheels, Lynch said.

One Columbus Township firefighter became overheated at the scene and was checked by medical personnel, Lynch said. He did not need to be taken to the hospital, Lynch said. Temperatures were in the 90s Monday afternoon when the fire happened.

Indiana State Police and Columbus police diverted traffic off the northbound lanes of the interstate at the State Road 46 interchange at Columbus as firefighters worked at the scene. Some motorists waited in the northbound rest park just south of the fire scene as firefighters cleared the trailer from the interstate.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.