Gasoline mistakenly put in kerosene pump

A thousand gallons of gasoline was mistakenly put into the kerosene pump at Pumpkin Center near Harlem early Sunday morning, Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker said in an e-mail tonight. 

Fire crews are making sure the kerosene pump is locked down so it can't be used, but some customers have already pumped from the tank, believing the product to be kerosene.   

It is believed that three customers pumped a total of nine gallons, Tucker said.  One of those customers discovered that it was gasoline and notified the store, which notified authorities.  The customer had pumped four gallons, leaving five gallons unaccounted for. 

"Every effort is being made to locate those two customers, including call-outs in that area, looking at store video, etc.," Tucker said. 

Anyone who pumped from the kerosene tank should not use it, she said. If gasoline is used in kerosene heaters, an explosion will likely occur.

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