Bellmore tanker fire
Firefighters battle a tanker truck fire Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 (Photo by Vincent Scaduto, Bellmore Fire Department)

A stretch of Sunrise Highway reopened Wednesday nearly 12 hours after a fuel tanker truck crashed and burst into flames in Bellmore, damaging five structures and a dozen parked vehicles, forcing the road’s closure, authorities said.

The truck was heading eastbound on Route 27 when it rear-ended a vehicle stopped at a red light at Newbridge Road, where the truck fell on its side and skidded a block until it came to a rest at Brevoort Place shortly before midnight, Nassau County police said.

About a dozen fire departments responded to extinguish the flames sparked by 7,000 gallons of fuel. A Harley Davidson shop at the corner of Sunrise and Newbridge was damaged along with four homes, three of which were evacuated. A Bellmore fire department spokesman said the fire was under control in about 90 minutes.

The driver of the truck and the car were both taken to local hospitals, where they were treated for minor injuries.

Town of Hempstead officials said they are working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to keep the fuel from entering storm drains and contaminating local waterways using sand “dams” that absorb and contain the fuel.

Town building inspectors are checking on local buildings damaged. Town officials also opened a warming center at Merrick Road Golf Course Clubhouse to accommodate residents who lost power or suffered fire damage to their homes.

Road crews will salt the road to melt frozen water left by firefighters. Police are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Firefighters battle a tanker truck fire Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 (Photo by Vincent Scaduto, Bellmore Fire Department)
Firefighters battle a tanker truck fire Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 (Photo by Vincent Scaduto, Bellmore Fire Department)

Click “next” for more photos from the blaze.

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.