A tanker fire closed all westbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway between Exit 49 in Melville and Exit 50 in Dix Hills for several hours beginning Tuesday evening.
Police said the driver of a fuel tanker truck carrying 12,000 gallons of fuel noticed what seemed to be a mechanical issue just west of Exit 50 on the westbound side of the LIE at about 8:30 p.m.
The driver pulled over, and the truck was on fire, but there was no crash or explosion, police said. No one was hurt.
Originally, the LIE was closed in both directions, but eastbound lanes were reopened about 9:15 p.m., police said. The westbound lanes reopened shortly after 2 a.m., police said.
The Melville Fire Department responded and was aided by the Dix Hills, East Farmingdale and Huntington Manor fire departments as well as the Hicksville Fire Department's Hazmat Team, said fire department spokesman Steve Silverman, who said the fire was put out in 20 minutes.
"The fire was in the undercarriage of the truck involving the three rear axles and tires," Silverman said in an email. "The tanker portion carrying gasoline was not involved, although it was impinged by the flames."
The Hicksville Hazmat team contained a minor fuel leak from the tanker, Silverman said. Overall, nearly 60 firefighters responded to the scene with 10 trucks.
At 10:25 p.m., Silverman said, another tanker arrived to take on the fuel from the damaged tanker truck.