i know its old but read the peoples comments.........
Atlanta Metro News*| ajc.com
Cops find 500 gallons of diesel in man’s garage
College Park resident was running wrecker service illegally out of home
By MEGAN MATTEUCCI
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Clayton County police say a College Park man running a wrecker service out of his home illegally stored 500 gallons of diesel fuel in his garage — enough to blow up 14 houses if ignited.
Hazardous materials crews on Tuesday seized two 250-gallon tanks of fuel from Wayne Richards’ garage. Police found several children inside the house.
“It could have been a nightmare situation,” Clayton County Fire Chief Alex Cohilas said. “I can’t imagine someone placing themselves, their family, and their neighbors at such a risk.”
Investigators say Richards was running an unlicensed wrecker service, Richards and Sons Towing, from his home at 841 Pine Shoals Drive. Each morning, Richards’ trucks backed into his residential garage and filled their tanks.
Officers conducted surveillance and spotted two tow trucks pull up in front of the house. Both drivers were smoking cigarettes, Assistant Police Chief Gregory Porter said.
“If there was a leak and one dropped that cigarette, it would have been a travesty,” Porter said. “At a minimum, he would have took out 14 houses.”
Richards, 39, was charged with reckless conduct, operating a business without a license and multiple environmental charges. He was released on a summons instead of taken to jail, so he could help crews clean up the fuel, Porter said.
Richards was approached at his home Tuesday afternoon but slammed the door without commenting.
Police, firefighters and the state Environmental Protection Division assessed the damage and found no leaks, Cohilas said. However, they did find several children inside the house and a strong smell of gas.
The children were unharmed. The family had broken several windows and opened others for ventilation, Porter said.
Neighbors say they’ve complained for at least a year about truck congestion in the small subdivision, gas stains on the road and fuel running down the driveway. On Tuesday morning, residents complained to Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell, who sent police.
“We all could have been blown to bits,” said former school board chairwoman Ericka Davis, who lives across the street. “Not only am I concerned about the fire hazard, but what about emissions in the air and the possibility of this getting in our water?”
The fuel could have ignited a storm drain, got in the groundwater or caused numerous other problems, firefighters said.
“The codes, ordinance and life safety measures he violated are too numerous for me to name,” Cohilas said.
In addition to the danger at the house, Richards was using the wrong type of diesel in his tow trucks, which are in violation of state emissions laws, Porter said. Police are investigating the origin of the fuel and anticipate additional charges.