CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — An oil delivery gone wrong forced a Rhode Island couple out of their home.
Dawn Falcone, the daughter of the homeowner, said her mother was showering two weeks ago when she heard an unusual noise. When she went to investigate, she found gallons of heating oil being poured into her basement.
Falcone said the Scenic Drive home had converted from oil to propane last summer, but the exterior pipe wasn’t removed along with the oil tank.
“She jumped out of the shower, threw on her pajamas soaking wet and stopped the person from doing that,” Falcone said, adding that 140 gallons of heating oil ultimately ended up in her mother’s basement. “Otherwise, it would have been 200 gallons, because that is what was ordered.”
The oil company, Mathews Oil, said it was an unfortunate accident, and that the delivery was mistakenly made there instead of a similar address further down the road.
The owner of the company said as soon as he learned of the mistake, he contacted an environmental cleanup company.
“I’m extremely sorry it happened,” Jim Mathews said over the phone. “Our insurance company is involved and we will make everything whole.”
Mathews said the clean up could cost upwards of $14,000.
Falcone said her mother and stepfather were forced out of their home and into a hotel following the incident, but they can no longer afford to stay there.
The couple claims the home remains uninhabitable because it reeks of oil and many of their belongings were damaged.
The family is unsatisfied with how it’s being handled. Claiming the clean-up is taking long to complete. However, the oil company said they are not delaying the process.
“She was in the house just trying to get clothes and felt nauseous and had to run outside,” Falcone said of her mother’s recent return to her residence.
A hazmat team with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management responded to the home twice within the past two weeks alongside the cleaning crew to determine the extent of the contamination.
The state agency said the specialist tested the home for hazardous chemicals, but the results did not exceed the threshold that would require DEM to take further action.
The fallout from the messy mix-up remains between the homeowner and the oil company.
The Cranston Police Department was notified of the incident but said there’s no criminal investigation into what happened.
The DEM said there have been no complaints filed against Mathews Oil within the last decade.
Falcone said her mother is considering taking legal action against the oil company if the situation isn’t remedied completely.