Thursday, February 02, 2006

Short Attention Span Theatre

(A quick nod to Marc Maron's old gig)

Heating oil goes down wrong pipe
Driver dumps 50 gallons into basement of LI home that had switched to natural gas 3 decades earlier


February 2, 2006

A Benit Oil fuel truck driver misread the address of a refill stop in Bethpage, hooked up the truck's hose to the empty house and unloaded 50 gallons of oil, officials said.

The problem?

Unlucky recipients Juliann and Edward Tesoriero switched to gas heat three decades ago. Although an oil pipe protruded from the house, inside it was connected to nothing.

Within seconds Tuesday, their entire basement floor - part storage area, part unoccupied bedroom - was awash in 2 inches of dark red oil. The oil permeated the walls, raced down a sewer drain and splashed over detergent bottles, old exercise equipment, clothing and furniture.

"Oh, what a headache! This has been a nightmare," Edward Tesoriero, 57, said, explaining that he and his wife were grocery shopping when the oil was erroneously delivered. The correct address was several houses away on Parkview Circle.

County police and local firefighters, and a cleanup crew from Benit Oil of Smithtown, arrived within minutes and began spreading absorbent towels across the 20-foot by 30-foot concrete space and airing out the house.
Bounty. The quicker picker upper, no doubt...
Dennis Barlow, general manager of Benit Oil, called the spill an honest mistake. "Accidents happen," Barlow said, adding that the company's insurance intends to pay for damages. Barlow said the driver, whom he refused to identify, has been indefinitely suspended.

Bill Fonda, a spokesman for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, said fuel refill mishaps happen periodically, usually when homeowners leave oil pipes extending from their home that are no longer in use.

Last March, a driver for an Oceanside fuel company poured 222 gallons of oil into an East Atlantic Beach home through a disconnected pipe, flooding the first floor and rendering the house uninhabitable.
$30,000 in estimated repairs.

Accidents happen, but this is pretty dumb. You'd think a) the driver would double check the address and b) the owners would have pulled a useless pipe at some point in the thirty intervening years, if for no other reason than to tstop varmints from crawling in...

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