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Overturned semi causes I-15 traffic snarls in Mira Mesa

SAN DIEGO - A SigAlert was issued Thursday after tractor-trailer loaded with furniture overturned and caught fire on Interstate 15 in Mira Mesa.

The crash occurred just after 4:15 a.m., closing both directions of the HOV lanes and the two left lanes of regular southbound I-15 traffic.  Northbound I-15 HOV lanes reopened to alleviate rush-hour backups.

The big-rig crash caused damage to the center divide of the southbound I-15 wall, as well as the movable K-rail separating HOV lanes of the highly traveled interstate in the heart of San Diego County.

According to CHP, the rig's diesel fuel tank ruptured in the crash and subsequently caught on fire.  San Diego firefighters responded within minutes to extinguish the flames from the cab of the tractor-trailer.

The driver reportedly escaped the crash with minor injuries and was transported to the hospital.

The trailer was righted and two main lanes were later reopened, but traffic remained backed up in the area.