CLARK, NJ – The Clark Fire Department responded to a call about a gas odor on Saturday just prior to 3 p.m. on the dead-end of Kathryn Street closest to the reservoir.
According to Fire Chief Frank Cerasa emergency responders encountered the heavy odor of gas and material leaking into the reservoir from the storm drain system when they arrived.
Cerasa said CFD personnel immediately began checking homes and catch basins on Kathryn Street, while other members of the team started following the contaminant through sewers until they found the source of the leak.
“The Delta gas station on Westfield Avenue appeared to have had a tank overfilled. The spill entered the sewer system and started down the street eventually going into the reservoir,” said Cerasa in a statement he released.
He said numerous Clark Engines and the Special Operations trailer deployed boats into the water. Clark FD called out to Rahway and Cranford departments to put boats in the water too.
The Union County Hazmat team responded with three trucks to the scenes and assisted with damming the spill, cleanup and other emergency logistics. “They also provided diking material for the boats to attempt to contain as much material as possible. We also requested the Department of Environment Protection to respond to the scene,” said Cerasa.
Cerasa said emergency responders had diked three areas and it is estimated that about 200 gallons of fuel leaked through the storm drains and into the reservoir. At this time Cerasa said he is not sure if the driver of the fuel truck or the station owners were aware of the overflow, instead it was the Kathryn Street homeowner that notified officials.
The owner of the Delta gas station was ordered to the scene and will be responsible for the cleanup with supervision by the DEP and UC Hazmat according to Cerasa.
In total, Cerasa said there were 24 Clark Firefighters and at least 40 additional responders from other agencies performing various duties throughout this event. There were no injuries reported from the incident.
Linden Engine responders were on the scene monitoring conditions from the Madison Hill Road bridge and an additional Berkley Heights boat was standing-by at the Raritan Road Fire house.
Mutual aid was called in to standby at Fire Headquarters on Broadway including engines from Roselle, Scotch Plains and a truck company from Kenilworth. The Clark First Aid squad also stood by for the duration of the event and Clark Emergency Management provided light towers and assisted in moving equipment.
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