Jamestown Fire Department responded to an unattended diesel fuel pump spill early Thursday evening, requiring cleanup of an estimated 15 to 20 gallons that spilled onto the ground.
JFD Chief Jim Reuther said he was walking nearby when he saw fuel spilling from a chartered bus at Sooper Stop Convenience Store, 811 13th St. NE. Diesel fuel tends to gel and pumps slowly in the winter and the driver had gone inside the convenience store to warm up, he said.
“It looked like the ground was pretty wet and I saw that the diesel fuel nozzle did not trip up (when the tank filled) and was running onto the ground,” Reuther said. “I shut the pump off and let the driver know what was going on.”
Reuther called Stutsman County Communications Center, and JFD was dispatched to the scene at 6:19 p.m..
Lt. Sheldon Mohr said six firefighters went to the scene as members of the hazmat team. The team brought the hazmart bus along with a mini pumper and a pickup.
The team used Floor-Dry and absorbent pads to keep the fuel from spreading to the gutter and the storm sewers, he said. There were 25 firefighters at the fire station on standby in case they were needed, Mohr said.
Reuther said the Street Department sent a truck to lay sand down to soak up the fuel. The owner and manager of the Sooper Stop were on scene and said they will have a crew clean up the mess, he said.
Because diesel gels in cold weather, not as much fuel spilled as would have in warmer weather, Reuther said.
The bus and driver were contracted to transport a girls hockey team from Dickinson to play Jamestown High School, he said.
JFD cleared the scene at 7:15 p.m.