Firefighters warn of fuel cross-contamination hazards

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FRANKFORT, Ind. – A case of cross-contamination with kerosene and gasoline is causing safety concerns in Frankfort.

Management at the Good to Go gas station says 1200 gallons of gasoline were dumped into 800 gallons of Kerosene Monday afternoon. A customer alerted the gas station to an issue with the kerosene on Thursday.

Since the contamination, 19 people have purchased more than 86 gallons of the hazardous mixture. The gas station is working to notify everyone impacted.

Robert Thompson, the multi-unit manager for Good Oil Company, says they are trying to contact six remaining customers.

“If you’re in doubt or you bought any of that product I wouldn’t even worry about testing it,” said Capt. Mike Pruitt from Wayne Township Fire. “It just needs to be disposed of.”

Pruitt says putting the contaminated fuel into a space heater can have devastating consequences.

“The gasoline obviously dominates the two fuels and you’re going to get a pretty serious reaction,” he said.

According to Pruitt, there have been cases of contaminated fuel starting fires in our area.

“Once you start putting this in – it’s exposed to an open flame,” Pruitt said. “You’re not going to have any time to escape. It’s going to be an extremely bad situation. Could take one’s life, burn the home down, injure others.”

The Wayne Township Fire Department suggests taking steps, at home, to avoid any kind of cross-contamination. For instance, keep fuels separated and the correct containers. Yellow containers are designated for diesel, blue containers for kerosene and red for gasoline.

Pruitt also said where you get your fuel can provide some peace of mind.

“They sell kerosene in containers at a lot of the big box stores,” Pruitt said. “You know for sure you’re getting a product brought to that store, manufactured for that purpose. You don’t have to worry about someone cross-contaminating.”

If you think you were affected by the cross-contamination in Frankfort, call 574-205-2105.

Thompson said Frankfort schools sent letters home to parents Friday to get the word out about the issue.

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