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Just shortly before 11pm on Tuesday night the fire broke out. The Los Angeles Fire Department said that an explosion preceded the fire as workers were trying to depressurize the system.
Residents who live nearby reported hearing loud booms and explosions and smelling chemical like smoke.
The fire resulted in a temporary shutdown of the 405 freeway at Wilmington Avenue, but it was reopened 30 minutes later.
An internal fire brigade handled the fire and at this time it is under control.
The fire department is asking nearby residents to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. However they are stating that residents do not need to worry about respiratory hazards.
“This is a standard engineering practice in refinery during the processing of different chemicals that are being distilled here. There is off-gasing going on, and that gas, rather than being released into the atmosphere, is actually burned off before it gets released so that it really takes all of the dangerous constituents out of the gas before it makes its way into the environment.”
– L.A. County Fire spokesperson Tony Imbrenda
At this time there is no reports of injuries.
The Marathon Refinery is believed to be the largest on the West Coast. At this time the cause of the fire remains under investigation
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