[Update 12:10 a.m.: Officials say the fire is fully contained although small amounts of material were still burning as of midnight. Fire officials say that smoke is no longer leaving the refinery property. The shelter-in-place order for surrounding communities was lifted about 11:15 p.m.]
[Update 10:12 p.m.: Chevron is saying the fire started at the refinery’s No. 4 Crude Unit and that all employees have been accounted for and there are no fatalities. One worker suffered burns that were not life-threatening. So far, Chevron isn’t offering information about the fire’s cause. As of 10 p.m., a shelter-in-place order was still in effect for the East Bay communities closest to the refinery. No hint yet on when it may be lifted.]
A massive fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery broke out shortly after 6:30 p.m. At least four explosions rocked the refinery, sending up huge plumes of billowing smoke that could be seen for miles. Officials issued a shelter-in-place order for Richmond, San Pablo, North Richmond and nearby communities. ABC 7 cited a member of the Contra Costa Hazmat team as saying the fire started in a processing plant where gasoline is produced. Few other details were immediately available.
Image: Helen Patterson via uReport/ ABC 7