If you enter the Ardsley Wildlife Sanctuary near the corner of Maple and Jefferson avenues, and hang a quick right, you’ll start to smell a faint odor — and it’s not that of nature.
Yesterday, someone seemingly spilled a combination of gasoline and 2-stroke engine oil down a retaining wall into a basin — it was then lit on fire.
Abington Fire Marshal Ken Clark said this morning that emergency crews responded to the 900 block of Maple Avenue yesterday at about 7:30 p.m. The fire was "pretty much extinguished" when crews arrived, save for some weeds and bushes, but Clark said crews had to put down booms and pads to absorb the gasoline-oil mixture in the water.
A large, white boom sits in the retaining basin now; most of the water appears cloudy, but it is especially dark near the base of the retention wall — it also smells strongly of gasoline and oil near the basin. The dragonflies don’t seem to mind the odor, as there were dozens of them.
And if you stand at the bottom of the tall retention wall, you can clearly see a wide trail of what appeared to be a slick of gasoline and oil. At the top of the wall and the trail was a charred stick.
So who did this?
“Kids frequent this area and it’s not uncommon to get police calls for kids partying in the area,” Clark said. “It looks like youngsters got gas, or oil, or a combination of the two and dumped the contents and ignited it.”
Abington Police Deputy Chief John Livingood said this afternoon that there was no one on the scene when police and fire officials arrived.
Check back for more details.