By Ted Goldberg
Several investigations are under way into a small fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond this morning, nearly two years after a much larger blaze led to scrutiny of the facility from state and federal officials.
But Chevron's account of how the blaze started differs from that given by local fire officials.
A three-quarter inch processing line ruptured and leaked heavy crude oil that ignited the two-alarm fire at around 2 a.m., according to Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks. Crews from the Richmond and Contra Costa County fire departments, along with Chevron’s own firefighting team, put out the blaze less than an hour later, Banks said.
After the fire was extinguished, oil continued to leak from the pipe, so the line was shut down. It’s unclear how that is affecting the refinery’s production.