Reporting Elizabeth Hur
By Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With gas prices soaring, people in one Philadelphia neighborhood can only wonder why their neighbor had buckets of gas stored in a garage.
That concern led to action Friday night.
“A strong odor of gasoline and it wasn’t natural gas,” said a concerned neighbor, who called 911 asked that we didn’t identify him. But his call prompted what we caught on camera: Workers in full haz-mat gear pulling gallons of gasoline from a Philadelphia home and dumping them into multiple fifty-gallon drums for safe removal.
When asked about his specific concern, the neighbor replied, “The neighborhood blowing up! You’re not supposed to store gas in your garage, not in unauthorized containers.”
According to sources, when police and fire crews arrived, they found at least 50 containers full of gasoline in the garage. Some were stored in approved containers but many, sources say, were not.
The fire risks they posed were too great to ignore, so we’re told officials from the city’s Licenses and Inspections and the Fire Marshal’s office were called to the scene.
Another neighbor who only gave us his first name, Doug, said, “It’s a little unsettling to hear that something like that is happening a few houses from you.”
Sources say the amount of gasoline on the premises exceeded the lawful limits for a residential structure, and because many were not stored in approved containers, they were removed.
Neighbors tell us that police have been called to the same home once before for the same issue. They hope this is the last time they have to worry about what’s in their backyard.
Doug added, “I’m just glad somebody finally pulled the trigger on it, per se, and [we’ll] see what happens.”
Sources say the Fire Marshal will now follow up with Philadelphia police to see if any criminal violations are warranted in the case.
But late Friday, a man, who only identified himself as the homeowner’s son, told Eyewitness News off camera that he did not realize he was doing anything wrong. He went onto explain that he was just buying cheap gas wherever he found it and storing it in his garage to save money.
The man also said he was just issued a warning and was not charged with any criminal wrong doing.