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Fuel oil cleanup ongoing in Wakeman

Scott Seitz2 • Dec 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Environmental crews are in the midst of cleaning up a fuel oil spill in the village.

Jason Roblin, Huron County emergency management agency director, said he was called to 17 Abbott St. in Wakeman on Wednesday.

"The home there was being demolished as part of the state program the county administers," Roblin said.

Roblin said there was a fuel oil tank in the basement of the Abbott Street residence that was either knocked over before or during demolition.

The initial report indicated less than 10 gallons of fuel oil spilled, but that number was later upped to 40 to 50 gallons.

"The fuel oil leaked from the floor drain in the basement to the storm sewer system and then to a tributary of the Vermilion River," Roblin said, adding the leak was stopped before reaching the river.

"Thankfully, it did not reach there," he said.

Roblin said Spill-Tek, a company from Vermilion which specializes in this type of cleanup work, is on the scene, as are officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Roblin said he didn't know how long the tank had been in the basement or how long the home had been unoccupied.

Neighbors of the Abbott Street home had noticed a funny odor.

"The residents smelled it and called it in," Roblin said.

No one had to be evacuated.

"The spill is contained," Roblin said.

The EMA director offered some advice for residents with fuel oil tanks in their basements.

"If you are not using them, drain them," he said, adding there was a recent incident in Willard where a wall collapsed on a fuel oil tank and ended up costing the resident about $10,000 in cleanup costs.

"Drain them," Roblin said again. "Even if you don't remove them."

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