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L.I. Homeowners Stuck Cleaning Up Mystery Oil Slick

$5,000 Later Nobody Has Claimed Responsibility

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Homeowners on Long Island were stuck cleaning up a slick that was left in their basement after someone made an oil delivery to the wrong address.

Patty and Robert Festa returned to their North Babylon home from a Caribbean cruise and could not believe what they found in their basement.

“My son says he smells oil in the basement and I said we don’t have oil, it can’t be,” Robert told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

The delivery came to their Kime Avenue home 20 years after the family switched to gas and removed the oil tank. Someone pumped 20 gallons of oil into their basement through a pipe that hadn’t been used in decades.

The slick flooded their basement, ruined clothing and flooring, and caused an environmental clean-up that cost $5,000. The sickening smell still lingers.

“My wife’s moving out. It stinks. It’s horrible,” Robert explained.

No one has claimed responsibility for the mishap and the family has canvassed the neighborhood looking for surveillance video and asking neighbors if they know which oil company is responsible.

A child said that he saw an oil truck but that company has denied responsibility.

The Festas want the responsible party to admit their mistake.

“Fess up, give us a break here, we’re just working class citizens. It’s costing way too much they should just come up and say ‘we made a mistake,'” Robert said.

The Festas have filed a police report in hopes of finding the culprit.

In light of the incident the Oil and Heat Institute has reminded homeowners that contractors are required to seal up fill pipes when they remove oil tanks. The Festa’s oil tank predates that law.

The New York state law that requires contractors to seal oil-fill pipes went into effect in 1996.

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