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A gasoline tanker caught fire in Belgrade on Monday night, injuring the driver and forcing evacuations of nearby homes.

At 5:15 p.m., emergency dispatchers received a report of a large grass fire near High Street in Belgrade. Central Valley firefighters responding to the blaze instead found a 5,500-gallon fuel tanker and an above-ground fuel tank engulfed in flames.

The 55-year-old driver of the tanker received first- and second-degree burns to his face and hands and was taken by ambulance to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said in a written statement. The driver's name was not released, but he works for Story Distributing Co. in Bozeman.

Twenty-one fire engines and more than 45 firefighters responded to the fire. Shortly after 8 p.m., Central Valley Fire Marshal Art Castricone told the Chronicle that a few flames were still coming from the fuel tanks but all the fires were under control.

Deputies evacuated a half-mile radius around Central Park north of Frontage Road west of Belgrade. Reverse 911 calls notified 141 homes, the sheriff’s office said. Castricone said two dozen were evacuated.

“We expect everyone will be coming home and sleeping in their own houses tonight,” Castricone said.

Authorities ended up allowing residents back into their homes at 10 p.m.

The Frontage Road was shut down between Four Dot and Manhattan. Interstate 90 was not affected. It was reopened before 10 p.m.

Castricone said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

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