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Forum staff reports, Published March 02 2014

Fargo fire crews clean up fuel oil spill at middle school

FARGO – Fire crews were called to a fuel oil spill at a north Fargo middle school on Sunday afternoon.

The spill occurred at around 3:20 p.m. likely because of a malfunctioning part in a tank at Ben Franklin Middle School, 1420 8th St. N., which caused the tank to overflow, said Assistant Fire Chief Leroy Skarloken.

Skarloken called the spill “pretty benign.” He estimated about 75 to 100 gallons may have spilled outside, some of it getting into the storm sewer. Some also spilled inside the school in the room where the generator was located. No injuries were reported, Skarloken said.

“It’s more of a nuisance than anything,” he said. “It’s flammable, but in these conditions it’s not really ignitable or anything like that. Especially when it’s this cold, it doesn’t (give) off gas or anything like that.”

After fire crews helped to stop the leak, cleanup was left in the hands of school officials, who will clean the spill under the supervision of the city’s environmental health department, Skarloken said.