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LIE reopens in Dix Hills after truck fire, DOT says

The Dix Hills Fire Department battles a tractor

The Dix Hills Fire Department battles a tractor trailer fire Thursday, May 5, 2016, in the eastbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway between Deer Park Avenue and Commack Road. Photo Credit: Paul Mazza

A ruptured brake line led to a tractor-trailer fire Thursday that closed the eastbound Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County for more than five hours during Thursday’s morning rush hour, police said.

Neither the driver nor any firefighter was injured after the cab caught fire between exits 51 and 52 at about 5:30 a.m., Suffolk County police said.

The road was reopened at about 10:10 a.m., police and the state Department of Transportation said.

The driver of the tractor trailer told police he heard a pop, and officers who responded to the scene think there was a tire blowout, police said. The blowout ruptured a brake line, and the brake fluid caught fire.

Police said the driver tried to extinguish the fire, which originated in the cab, but failed.

The Dix Hills Fire Department responded with four engines and needed about an hour, under the direction of Chief Robert Fling, to extinguish the flames, a spokesman for the department said.

The semi was hauling goods for Costco, police said, and the roadway had to be closed until the damaged cab and trailer could be removed.

Removal took so long because trash containers and flatbeds had to be brought to the scene for damaged and salvageable items from the trailer, police said.

Police said their Motor Carrier Unit inspected the tractor trailer and issued summonses for violations, none of which were related to the cause of the fire.

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