Update 4:17 p.m.: KQED's Aarti Shahani Tweeted updates this afternoon from the community center where Chevron was offering help to local residents wishing to file claims stemming from Monday's refinery fire. You can find her Tweets here.
That's how Doug Sovern of KCBS described the scene this morning at the Nevin Community Center in Richmond, where Chevron is offering help to residents who wish to file claims stemming from Monday's refinery fire. The company has said it intends to "compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident."
NBC's Christie Smith Tweeted this photo from the claims center:
The fire belched thick black smoke into the air and led health officials to order residents to stay indoors. Hundreds sought medical treatment.
Chevron also is taking claims resulting from the fire by phone at 1-866-260-7881. The company has reportedly received more than 2,000 calls so far. And other local residents are seeking legal help following the fire.
From Thursday's San Francisco Chronicle:
Two days after toxic black smoke from the Chevron refinery fire enveloped Richmond, a second phenomenon swept through the city: the rush for money.
More than 1,000 residents claiming to have coughs, nausea, scratchy throats and psychological trauma visited a downtown law office Wednesday in hopes of receiving a payout for their suffering.
The interest in receiving compensation has created an opportunity for con artists. As Bay Area News Group reporter Daniel Jimenez Tweeted, local residents have been cautioned against providing information to those who call on the phone and claim to be from Chevron.
Monday's fire isn't just having an impact on the health of local residents. It's being felt in the wallets of Californians who have seen gas prices increase. Here's a look at the rise in prices through photos posted on Twitter; we'll provide updates as we receive more photos: