Cains Mill Road between Pinewood Road and St. Paul Church Road is expected to remain closed most of Wednesday evening as public safety responders deal with the aftermath and cleanup from a tractor-trailer crash and fire along the road earlier in the day.
Public safety personnel first responded to the crash around 4:30 p.m., finding the tanker truck had overturned while navigating a curve in the road between Follin Drive and Soeven Place. The truck, loaded with fuel, erupted, not only engulfing itself in flames but also spreading flames into a nearby wooded area.
With the possibility of the forest fire spreading and threatening area homes, several of the stations throughout the Sumter Fire Department system responded to the scene, as well as firefighters from Shaw Air Force Base, fighting the blaze with both water and flame-retarding chemicals.
Firefighters at the scene said the driver, while injured in the crash, was able to get out of his vehicle and away from the flames. He was transported to Palmetto Health Tuomey. No one else was injured in the crash, and no firefighters were hurt responding to the fire.
While the fire was out, fire officials were saying as of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday that they expected to be on the scene “for several hours.” As they worked to clean up the scene and remove what was left of the truck from the scene.
Shortly after the fire started, officials with the City of Sumter were also warning area residents and business that they could see discolored water “for a period of time” due to the amount of water being used to extinguish the blaze. As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, hydrants in the area could be seen still open and running.
City officials added that if area residents continued to experience discolored water over the next few days to contact the City of Sumter Public Services Department at 803-436-2558.