A fuel tanker overturned and burst into flames on a Long Island highway just before midnight Tuesday, causing two injuries and causing an inferno that charred several cars, damaged two homes and a Harley-Davidson dealership.
December 18, 2013

A fiery collision on Long Island damaged cars and buildings and sent huge flames into the night sky overnight.

It began with a crash just before midnight Tuesday on Sunrise Highway in Bellmore, and it ended with a tanker flipping onto its side and bursting into flames.

NBC New York:

"About 7,000 of the tanker's 12,000 gallons of fuel spilled out, authorities say. The fuel fed a large fire that melted vinyl siding off of homes, caused damage to a nearby Harley-Davidson dealership and engulfed several parked cars in flames.

Crews fought the blaze for about 90 minutes before knocking the fire down. Afterward, efforts turned to cleaning spilled fuel. The company that owns the tanker also came to the scene to recover the fuel that remained in the truck.

The drivers of the tanker and the other vehicle were both taken to the hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries."

The drivers of the tanker and the other vehicle were both taken to the hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries.

The fuel caught fire, damaging 12 parked cars and four homes in the area, and the flames traveled back to the tanker and triggered the explosion.


"I could see the flames getting closer and closer," said Mary Matthews, who was standing in her 87-year old mother's bedroom when it happened.

"Like a glow, the orange glow, and I pulled back her drapes, and the fireball was just barrelling down the street," said Matthews.

A fireball from a truck hauling 12,000 gallons of fuel. It tumbled down Sunrise Highway after hitting a car, and then it exploded.

The leaking fuel took flames down the block, and Mary lost both her cars, her patio, and the outside of her home melted. But her elderly mother was saved by a neighbor.

"He came flying in. He literally picked her up, ran her out of the house," Matthews said.

The family of Henry Chiu were unable to exit the front of their home, and they all had to climb over an 8-foot wall in back of their house to safety.

In all, 20 people -- the youngest just an infant -- 3 dogs, 1 cat were displaced by the fire.

All lanes of the highway were closed until noon on Wednesday morning as crews worked to clear the wreckage and debris.

An investigation is ongoing, but officials do not believe ice played a role in the crash. They also say no criminality is suspected.

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