Fire Burns Chevron Refinery In Richmond; Residents Urged To Shelter In Place

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A fire is currently burning at the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

Fire Burns Chevron Refinery In Richmond; Residents Urged To Shelter In Place

A fire is currently burning at the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

Residents of Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo are being told to shelter in place because of a fire burning at the Chevron refinery, the chief environmental and hazardous materials officer for Contra Costa Health Services said.   

An automated phone message sent out by Contra Costa Health Services stated that there has been an emergency at the refinery.  

"Go inside. Close all windows and doors," the message stated.

It advised residents to turn off heaters, air conditioners and fans, and to cover cracks around doors with tape or damp towels.

Residents are being urged to stay off the phone to keep the line free for further alerts.

Officials have issued a level-3 community warning which means that the fire can cause eye, skin, nose or respiratory irritation.

The fire was reported around 6:40 p.m., said Randy Sawyer, the  chief environmental and hazardous materials officer for Contra Costa Health Services.

The Richmond BART station has been closed because of the emergency, a BART employee said.

The Richmond Fire Department is arriving on the scene.

The refinery fire department told KTVU the processing plant fire started at 6:30 p.m.

Officials said there was no explosion and there is a single fire and a single flare that is going off to burn off excess oil or fuel.

Footage from Newschopper 2 showed flames coming from the processing plant and the flare at the Chevron refinery.

They said the cause seems to be a pump leak on the crude unit column.

There have been no confirmed injuries.

A KTVU reporter on scene said she heard alarms, a loud boom and saw a large black plume of smoke and flames.