Paynesville, MN  (Learfield Wire Services/TTWN Media Networks) -- Stearns County authorities evacuated dozens of homes in Paynesville early Friday morning when a tractor-trailer truck carrying hazardous chemicals caught fire.

It isn't clear how the fire started. The driver called 9-1-1, saying he was able to detach the cab and move a safe distance away.

People living nearby were rousted from their sleep shortly before 12:30 a-m by officers going door-to-door. An estimated 70-to-100 homes were evacuated. Residents took shelter at Paynesville High School. They were allowed to return home after several hours, but Highway 23 was blocked even longer during the cleanup.

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