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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another Fire at Chevron Refinery Today

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 4:35 PM

click to enlarge ALBERT SAMAHA
  • Albert Samaha

This morning, a small secondary fire ignited near the controlled burn at the scene of Monday's Chevron Refinery, according to refinery officials.

This fire sparked around 11:15 a.m. near the initial fire location; however, firefighters acted quickly and extinguished it within minutes, and nobody was injured, said Sam Singer, a consultant representing Chevron. Backup firefighters were also called to the scene. 

Firefighters initially thought this flame was a flare-up of the controlled burn that has been used to make sure

leaking gas doesn't build up and combust again, media outlets reported.

Thankfully, this fire did not pose a serious threat to the community and nobody was ordered to stay inside their shelter.

But it certainly didn't help Chevron's image as the refinery attempts to pick up the pieces, or rather, sweep up the ashes, of the three-alarm blaze that started Monday night.

On the physical repairs front, Cal/OSHA is evaluating the safety of the property after the fire, while engineers are figuring out how to begin making repairs.

Meanwhile, Chevron is finalizing plans for compensation packages for residents who were affected by the fire. Last night, the gas company apologized to Richmond residents, but still took a verbal beating from the hundreds who packed a town hall meeting.

Residents pointed fingers at the oil company, calling it a "cancer-causer," and many were unimpressed by Chevron's vague corporate "jargon," resident Annette Howard told KGO.

While increasing gas prices and health concerns may pinch the pockets of many, these out-of-state lawyers are jumping on the fire's gravy train. Several residents want to go to court with their injuries, and this law firm hopes to help them -- so much so that they're seeking additional legal counselors on Craigslist.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are two of several agencies involved in investigating the fire. The CSB will look into safety issues of the workers and Richmond homeowners. The EPA says it could levy fines against Chevron for any violations it may have committed.

Massive plumes of black smoke and flames usurped the bay's skyline on Monday about 6:15 p.m. when a vapor leak releasing diesel-like gas sparked the blaze at the Chevron Refinery's No. 4 Crude Unit. It took about five hours to bring the fire under control.

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Suzanne Stathatos


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