March 1, 2007
There’s a potentially explosive situation in Orange County where gasoline tainted kerosene was accidentally sold to customers.
Two people have already been injured and officials want to make sure every last gallon of this highly flammable liquid is never used and is returned immediately.
They are warning customers who bought kerosene from The Market Exxon station on Routes 20 and 611 in Locust Grove in the last few days not to use it.
“This is very serious, very serious potentially fatal incident we have in progress and if they have it bring it back. Get the word out. Tell a friend tell a relative,” said Orange County Emergency Management Director Melissa McDaniel
The gasoline contaminated kerosene is potentially flammable and possibly explosive. In fact two people attempting to use the fuel in a heater suffered first and second degree burns.
We're told on Saturday an agent from Tiger Fuel accidentally filled one a kerosene tank with gasoline.
The mistake wasn't discovered until days later and 285 gallons of the tainted fuel had already been sold.
Since Wednesday Tiger Fuel and county officials have been frantically trying to get the word out.
McDaniel said they contacted the media; they activated their reverse 911 response system to that portion of the county and they also sent flyers home through the school system.
About 13 customers have since returned the kerosene but still about 200 gallons of the contaminated fuel are unaccounted for.
“We have no idea how many people bought the product,” said McDaniel.
Many of the customers are difficult to track down. Those who bought with a credit card have been contacted but those who paid cash may be impossible to find.
A representative from Tiger Fuel told us they are doing everything in their power to correct this mistake. They will refund customers' money, but warn the kerosene is not to be used under any circumstances.