CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Clayton officials confirm a tip from someone in the town who smelled fuel led to the discovery of a kerosene leak in the Main Street area. The fuel odor was reported around 9:00 a.m. Saturday.
The Clayton Fire Department was dispatched to investigate the issue and determined there had been an accidental release of kerosene from a private business in the Main Street area; and with the rain from Ian, the fuel leak may have extended past the US Highway 70 Business corridor.
The business, where the leak originated, was notified and immediately contacted a hazmat company around 12 p.m. to assess and clean up the area. The hazmat company has been working around the clock to mitigate the effects of the release, according to Town of Clayton Communications Director Nathanael Shelton.
At least 2,000 gallons of kerosene leaked, according to what was reported to the National Response Center, Shelton confirmed.
Following protocol, the Clayton Fire Department coordinated with Johnston County Emergency Management to report the release to the state. This is required per general statute in release situations that exceed the minimum of 25 gallons.
The state is taking over the investigation into the fuel leak and will oversee the clean-up efforts, provide a timeline, and give the all clear once the process is complete, Shelton said.
"This is an unfortunate event. However, there are polices and protocols in place to address these types of situations. The town, the private entity, the county, and the state will continue to collaborate on clean-up efforts. The health and safety of our residents remains a top priority," Shelton said on behalf of the town.
ABC11 is looking into the fuel leak, please check back for updates.