Sunday, March 3

‘There was a bang,’ neighbor says of ferocious Turnpike fire in west Boynton Beach

Residents in west Boynton Beach said a booming explosion woke them up early Friday morning.

That blast triggered an inferno in the northbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike, just north of Boynton Beach Boulevard, as a fuel tanker truck erupted in flames.

“What did it sound like?” WPTV anchor Hollani Davis asked one resident.

“Like popping. Like explosions,” the woman replied.

“How many booms?” Davis followed up.

“It was at least three or four,” the woman answered. “We thought our backyard was on fire.”

“We were just sleeping, and then, I guess there was a bang because that’s what woke me up,” another resident said. “And then when I looked out the master bedroom window, the whole thing was glowing orange.”

Residents who live in the Isola Bella community in the area of U.S. 441 and Hypoluxo Road said on our WPTV Facebook page they heard a very loud explosion just before 6 a.m.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the fire broke out between Hypoluxo Road and Boynton Beach Boulevard just before 6 a.m.

Aerial video from WPTV Chopper 5 showed a fuel truck engulfed in flames in the northbound lanes, and fuel leaking from the vehicle and trailing down both sides of the Turnpike.

The fire was completely put out just before 7:30 a.m., with the wreckage covered in white foam.

Davis said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue was pumping water out of a canal alongside the Turnpike to help fight the flames, and was also hosing down nearby brush to prevent the blaze from spreading.

Once the fire was extinguished, Davis said the firefighters began putting water back into the canal.

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