On Friday, May 6th at 14;19 hours the West Sayville Fire Department was dispatched to a report of an overturned gasoline tanker on the Sunrise Highway Service Road, Eastbound at Locust Avenue in Oakdale. First arriving Assistant Chief Robert Doucet, verified an overturned 9000 gallon gasoline tanker, leaking heavy amounts of gasoline. West Sayville Engines 3-10-1 and 3-10-8 were ordered to pick up nearby hydrants to secure a water supply. Heavy Rescue 3-10-3 was directed to start laying down speedy dry in an attempt to slow down the flow of gasoline into the sewers. Chief Doucet immediately called for Islip Town Hazmat to respond to the scene as well as mutual aid from the Bohemia, Sayville, and East Islip Fire Departments. As the incident grew more precarious, additional mutual aid was requested from the MacArthur Airport Crash Fire Rescue for foam, as well as Bayport, West Islip, and Great River Fire Departments. Assistant Chief Lucas Domingo was in charge of operations, and utilized all available manpower with hand shovels to set-up dikes to contain the flow of gasoline. The Islip Town Department of Public Works also responded to the scene with numerous loads of sand to aid in the effort. While operations were continuing to try to stem the flow of gas into the sewers the Islip Town Hazmat team worked to contain the leak at the puncture site on the tanker. Three relief holes were drilled to help determine the amount of fuel remaining and to aid in a possible off load of the remaining product.

Chief of department Joseph Schroeder assumed command of the operations and with the help of Assistant Chief's Robert Doucet, Lucus Domingo and Todd Gray manpower was dispatched to different sewer locations in the area with meters to monitor combustion levels. Meter readings were also taken from houses in the immediate area with no high levels found and no evacuations necessary. With the assistance of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of SCFRES, a police escort was set up to expedite the arrival of another tanker from Hempstead to the incident location in case a transfer of fuel became necessary. The tanker was finally uprighted at 19:20 hours and the incident declared under control at 19:25 hours. An off load was not necessary as it was determined that approximately 9300 gallons of gas had leaked from the tanker and whatever little was left would be removed at a transfer station location. The Town of Islip remained at the scene to cleanup the huge amounts of sand from the service road so that it could be opened up to traffic. All manpower was released at 20:01 hours. Chief Schroeder commended the actions of all involved with helping to avert a potentially serious situation.

Harry D'Onofrio
Ex Chief, West Sayville FD