Residents of the homes lining the Sackville River awoke to the pungent smell of furnace oil Sunday morning after several hundred litres of the thick, dark liquid poured into the waterway overnight.
Police say someone deliberately sliced the line on an outdoor fuel tank at Buddy’s Billiards at 1053 Sackville Drive, and the oil quickly found its way into the nearby storm drainage system and then down into the river. The tank had reportedly been filled to the brim less than two days earlier.
Halifax Regional Fire Services eventually managed to contain the spill with absorbent sponges and pads.
“My landlord called me this morning at home and said that the RCMP were here,” said Pam Murray, the manager at Buddy’s Billiards. “I didn’t know until I got here that the fuel line was cut.”
The pool hall, which opened last July, shares the building with several other businesses, including a pizza joint, a convenience store, a used car dealership and a U-Haul rental office.
Murray said she couldn’t imagine who would want to drain the oil tank.
“Buddy’s is a private club, and it’s like one big family here,” she said. “No one from the club did this.”
But local Councillor Brad Johns said he wasn’t the least bit surprised when he heard the building had been vandalized.
“There’s a lot of frustration in the community with (that building),” Johns said.
“I average about three or four calls a week about it. Residents are quite concerned by the fact that on Friday and Saturday nights you’ve got cars parking on the road, and people hanging around making noise and smoking.”
According to Murray, there has been only one noise complaint, and she has since kept the back door shut to avoid disturbing the neighbours.
Police are continuing their investigation.