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'Rapidly escalating fire' causes rush hour delays on M1 at junction 5
Rush hour drivers witnessed a "rapidly escalating fire" yesterday afternoon, which originated in a transit van on the M1 at junction 5.
Hertfordshire Constabulary received a call of a highway disruption at 5.05pm, following a vehicle catching fire between junction 5 and 6 going northbound on the M1.
The driver managed to pull the van onto the hard shoulder and he was taken to hospital by ambulance "as a precaution". No other vehicles were involved.
Roger Sechiari, a witness, said: "I work in north Watford and live centrally, so normally go south on A41 and use the link road to get into central Watford. Yesterday I left work and as I headed towards Berrygrove interchange I noticed a narrow column of smoke. As I rode around the roundabout it was getting increasingly big.
"The northbound M1 was at a complete standstill across all three lanes but the fire took place on the raised section of the junction. Having first aid experience and a friend in the fire service I stopped and witnessed a rapidly escalating fire, which seemed to have originated in the rear of a transit van.
Video footage of the fire from Roger Sechiari.
"I believe it was a "Portaloo" branded van. Two passengers had safely left the vehicle and simply watched as the fire took hold."
Police said there was debris in the road which was cleared and a temporary diversion was put in place, but there was no lane closure necessary.
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