RUMFORD — Rumford firefighters were called to the Circle K gas station and convenience store on Bridge Street early Thursday evening for a fuel spill.

On arrival, they learned from the Dead River Co. driver that he was delivering gasoline and diesel fuel and “had an issue” with its diesel fuel tank, fire Deputy Chief Chris Bryant said. Several gallons were spilled in the parking lot.

“It’s unknown if it was operator or mechanical error,” Bryant said.

A Maine Department of Environmental Protection official was sent to the scene to investigate the spill. 

“The spill had been partially contained by store employees,” he said. “They had put down SpeedyDry to absorb it. The employees on scene did a good job containing it and keeping customers away from it.”

The incident happened sometime before 6:21 p.m. Bryant said a passerby saw fluids going across the parking lot, thought it was gasoline and quickly drove to the fire station to alert firefighters.


When they investigated, they learned it was a large diesel fuel spill and alerted dispatchers in Paris to tone the department out for more manpower to help contain it, he said.

The firefighters also used absorbent pads and more SpeedyDry, but “we’re not a cleanup service,” Bryant said.

They were, however, concerned with diesel fuel that went into a catch basin near the fuel pumps that drain stormwater into the Androscoggin River.

“So that was our priority, because eventually it would go down through into the river,” Bryant said.

Diesel fuel, he said, is a liquid that is going to flow, but it doesn’t have the consistency and thickness of motor oil.

A crew from environmental service Clean Harbors was en route late Thursday night to clean up the spill. He said he wasn’t sure if they were coming at the behest of the DEP official, Dead River or both.


When the DEP official arrived, “we told him what was going on and we taped the area off and left,” Bryant said.

About six or seven Rumford firefighters were on scene for approximately three hours.

Bryant said he was glad that it was a cold night and that the spill was diesel fuel and not gasoline.

“Gas is a lot more dangerous than diesel, and the cold temperatures helped us, so it was all favorable in our favor,” he said.

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