UPDATE: Citgo Gas Leak May Pose Environmental Threat, Fire Officials Say
Fuel has been seeping up from the ground at the Homewood gas station and into a nearby storm drain for an unknown amount of time, firefighters say.
UPDATE on Aug. 13 at 10:20 p.m.
The gasoline leak was repaired and environmental hazard response organization SET Environmental Inc. is working on cleanup, according to Homewood Fire Lieutenant Bill Wright.
SET has been working along with Homewood Public Works to isolate the sewer contaminants, Wright said. Once they have all the gas contained, it will be extracted from the sewer, but the process is likely to go well into the night, according to Wright.
On the surface, Homewood firefighters were able to neutralize the flammability of the spilled fuel by treating it with special chemicals. A complete cleanup is expected by morning, Wright said. The area is now generally regarded as safe, but firefighters are still asking residents to stay behind police tape.
By law, Citgo is responsible for all emergency response fees incurred by the village and SET Environmental Inc. There is no word on when the gas station plans to reopen at this time.
The Homewood Fire Department is advising residents stay clear of the Citgo at 183rd Street and Morris Ave due to a gasoline leak discovered sometime just before 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The cause of the leak is currently unknown, but firefighters are looking into a potential cracked fuel tank, according to Homewood Fire Lieutenant Bill Wright.
While none have been reported injured, the gas, which has been seeping up from the ground for an unknown amount of time, has been flowing down 183rd Street and into the storm drain. Wright says it is still uncertain how much of an environmental hazard this presents, however teams are working to determine the severity of the spill. There is no estimate of when the leak will be contained.
A Tinley Park fire engine and Posen ambulance are currently stationed at the Homewood Fire Department to cover for emergency responders.
We will update this story should more information become available.