Cleanup underway after 5,000-gallon oil tanker catches fire in DeSoto, officials say, evacuations lifted

Fire crews were able to contain the fire, and the cleanup process is now underway, officials said shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

DESOTO, Texas — Residents in Desoto were let back into their homes Friday after they were forced to evacuate when a 5,000-gallon diesel fuel tanker caught fire earlier in the day. 

“When I walked outside the first time, it was super smoky out,” said Dylan May, a DeSoto resident who evacuated. “They were going door by door. Then, you could hear the sirens.”

The fire occurred at the intersection of W. Parkerville Road and S. Cockrell Hill Road at around 3 p.m. As fire crews responded to the scene, the City of DeSoto asked residents who live in the area to evacuate. 

The evacuation zone was bordered by on the west by Keswick Drive, on the north by Summerside Drive, on the east by Elerson Road and on the south by Richard Pittman Drive.

“It’s all blocked off. They’re like go this way. Go that way. Ain’t no way to get over there, so we’re sitting right here trying to get to the house,” said Debo, another resident.

Desoto Fire Department said the fire started in the engine while the driver was sitting at a red light. Then, it quickly spread to the cab and to the compartments carrying diesel fuel. They said no other cars were involved in the fire, and that the driver of the tanker was not injured. 

“When you’re dealing with flammable liquids like that, it really creates a lot of issues because water on flammable liquid doesn’t do any good. Foam becomes our best friend,” said Desoto Fire Chief Bryan Southard.

He told WFAA that crews used foam to try and blanket the fuel and get the fire under control. 

“One of our biggest concerns is we have storm drains with runoff, so we’re trying to control the runoff,” Southard said. “We don’t want the diesel getting down into the storm drains.”

Just before 6:30 p.m., the City of Desoto lifted its evacuation order. 

“All hazards have been mitigated and residents have been allowed back into their homes,” the city stated on Facebook. 

“Always concerned, but we’re glad there wasn’t chemicals burning just the diesel fuel. We’re glad certainly that the driver was safe, and all the neighbors and homes were safe too,” said Scott Hulbert, a DeSoto resident.

City officials said Saturday morning that the intersection of Cockrell Hill and Parkerville Roads were reopened after clean-up of the fuel tanker fire. The lights are flashing red due to damage to the traffic signals related to the earlier fire and should be treated as a 4 way stop until final repairs are mad, the city said in its Saturday update.

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