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Semi carrying hay catches fire, shuts down NB I-35 at Pennway, before downtown KC loop

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A semi fire caused a major traffic mess on Tuesday afternoon near the downtown loop. Fortunately, several hours later, Interstate 35 is back open.

A semi carrying hay bales caught fire on northbound I-35 right before the exit for Southwest Boulevard and West Pennway.

Sgt. Bill Mahoney with KCPD said the driver was moving the load from southern Kansas to Liberty when another driver alerted him that the load was on fire. He pulled to the side of the road and got out of the cab before fire overtook it, sparing himself any injury.

While there were no injuries, traffic was tied up on I-35 for several hours. The lanes near downtown were reopened around 7:45 p.m. after a Missouri Department of Transportation bridge inspector gave the OK.

But as the semi was being moved off the interstate, hay bales once again caught fire on the off-ramp. The West Pennway exit is still closed as crews work on the second fire.

In addition to the semi catching fire, vehicles caught fire at Crossroads Westside Apartments after flames dropped onto them, and vehicles parked underneath I-35 did as well.

FOX4 will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates when the interstate has reopened.