Bungled through poor communication:
West Shore Pipe Line Co. estimates 54,600 gallons of gasoline spilled out of the pipe in just a few minutes July 17, spreading into the soil of McComis lawn and a hayfield at neighboring Sweet Dreams farm, owned by John and Susan Fenton.
Both homes were evacuated the next day.
Since then, McComis and his family have been staying at a nearby hotel as contractors dig more and more soil, edging closer to the McComis home. The pit now is several hundred feet wide, straddling both properties east and west of the pipeline. It is 4 to 5 feet deep, the depth of shallow dolomite bedrock beneath the surface.
On Thursday, two large backhoes steadily dug into the dirt, filling dump trucks waiting in line along a gravel road built by West Shore on the Fentons field. One of the large shovels pointed toward the McComis home, just 100 feet away.
Tempers flared shortly after 8 a.m., when contractors asked McComis to step away from the pit, for his own safety.
He loudly reminded them they were on his property.