Military vehicle catches fire in Oceanside

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A military vehicle caught fire in Oceanside Friday afternoon while traveling northbound on Interstate 5.

The Oceanside Fire Department responded to reports of a truck on fire along I-5 at Oceanside Boulevard around 1 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find the cab of a large military transport vehicle engulfed in flames. Brush near the off-ramp was also on fire.

Traffic began stacking up as firefighters blocked three lanes on northbound I-5 to battle the flames. After about 30 minutes, the fire in the vehicle and the small brush fire were both extinguished.

The cab of the vehicle, which was later identified as a U.S. Marine Corps Oshkosh 10-wheel drive Logistic Vehicle System Replacement, was destroyed. Fire officials estimated the fire caused about $100,000 in damages.

No one was injured in the fire. Two Marines were in the vehicle at the time the fire began and reported hearing a loud noise before smoke began seeping into the back of the cab. The Marines were able to pull the vehicle to the side of the road before evacuating.

Division Chief Pete Lawrence with the Oceanside Fire Department said a hydraulic fluid spill was spotted near the vehicle and stretched about a quarter-mile down the road.

According to an initial investigation, the fire was likely caused by a malfunctioning power take-off unit that broke the hydraulic line and ignited the fire. Lawrence said in a news release the loud sounds the Marines reported hearing were large tires inside the vehicle that exploded from heat caused by the fire.

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