LEESBURG, Fla. -

A big rig erupted into flames on the Florida Turnpike, forcing officials to close the roadway.

The fire happened around 5 a.m. Monday  in the southbound lanes of the Turnpike near County Road 470 in Leesburg.  Southbound lanes were closed in the area, backing up traffic, but later reopened.

A spokesman for Lake County Fire Rescue confirms to Local 6 that units responded to a fire in the southbound lanes near County Road 470. Firefighters had the fire out by 7 a.m., according to Assistant Chief Jack Fillman.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a semi's tire caught fire and the flames spread, forcing the driver to pull off onto the shoulder.

The FHP says the driver was not injured.

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