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SUFFOLK -- Firefighters responded to a large fuel spill at a church in Suffolk Wednesday night.

Crews responded to the incident in the 5100 block of Nansemond Parkway around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

An employee of the church advised emergency personnel that fuel was leaking from one of the tanks on the property, according to city spokeswoman Diana Klink.

Investigators determined that the lines from two 275 gallon tanks had been cut in an attempt to steal fuel.

A small amount of fuel was stolen, and the thieves left the scene with approximately 500 gallons of oil spilling onto the ground, Klink said. The oil spill also ran into a nearby swamp and stream which is a tributary to Bennett's Creek.

Firefighters were able to dyke the spill to keep it from spreading further, and the property owner has contacted a hazmat clean-up company to handle the spill.

An investigation is underway.

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