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.
Click “next” for more photos from the blaze.