Who is responsible for inspecting, overseeing underground grease traps?

July 16, 2019 11:35 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- An incomprehensible tragedy struck Monday after a 3-year-old boy fell into a grease tank and died. 

Police call it a tragedy that happened in seconds.


A day later, News10NBC dug deeper into finding out who is responsible for inspecting and overseeing those underground grease tanks like the one the boy fell into.

News10NBC's Berkeley Brean was at Tim Hortons on University Avenue Tuesday where the tragedy took place.

At 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, the county gave News10NBC all kinds of documents about responsibility. We can tell you the city and the county issued permits to build the tank where the young boy died and others like it. But it appears that no government is responsible for inspecting them.

Around the same time Tuesday, the family of the little boy held a vigil at Tim Hortons. They launched blue balloons into the air and a family friend placed flowers at the site of the tank.

"My heart breaks for the family and the little guy who lost his life," said Tonya Matthews, brought flowers to the scene.

Rochester Police say the child followed his mom to her work at Tim Hortons Monday when she couldn't find a babysitter. Police say the boy stepped on the grease tank behind the building and fell in after the plastic lid gave way.

News10NBC went to a closed Tim Hortons on Ridge Road in Greece looking for a similar tank while also contacting the city, state and county to find out who inspects the tanks.

On Tuesday evening, the spokesman for the county executive, Jesse Sleezer, says the county has not been responsible for overseeing these tanks since the late 80s. 


Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


We no longer have Facebook comments on this site. Please visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.