NEW YORK - JANUARY 12: Marion Dantzler (C) and Stephen St. Clair (R) of South Carolina Heating Fuel deliver heating oil to a building in Harlem January 12, 2010 in New York City. Crude oil prices leapt to a 15-month high in the past week as a prolonged cold spell drove demand for heating oil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A slippery, oily nightmare could cost a Bethpage family thousands of dollars to clean up.
The Long Island couple was left with the mess after a delivery man filled their basement with heating oil and then took off in the middle of the night.
The driver of the white tanker truck with blue lettering left investigators and the owners of the house in fumes after making a dump on the inside of their basement and leaving behind a big oil spill.
"The bottom of our house is destroyed right now and we can't live in the house until all of the fumes are cleaned out," said Charles Garner.
"The whole situation is devastating," said Barbara Garner, pointing out the drenched carpet and the ruined walls.
Charles and his wife, Barbara, both say they saw the truck outside before they headed to bed. They assumed the driver was making a delivery to one of their neighbor's homes because the Long Island couple's two-story house doesn't use oil.
Fifteen to 20 minutes later, the whole house wreaked of gasoline, Charles said.
"He (Charles) came up and woke me up and said, Oh my God!' And I said, 'Oh my God that's gasoline,'" said Barbara.
As it turns out, the driver dumped the oil by mistake. The mysterious driver apparently connected a hose to thespigot that's been out of service for a number of years, dumping nearly 30 gallons of home heating oil and ruining the basement. It'll be costly to fix.
And to make financial matters worse, the couple, who already has a 4-year-old girl, is expecting a baby any day now.
"I'm at risk for pre-term labor. I'm just trying not to go into labor," said Barbara. "The whole house smells like oil."
Charles said he phoned the fire department for help. They arrived shortly after to assist with the clean-up. Still, the damage is done.
Fortunately, the couple does have insurance.
"The insurance company is going to want whoever this insurance company is to pay and they should," said Charles. "They're completely responsible."