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Massive fire breaks out at Marathon refinery in Carson

ABC 7 Los Angeles logo ABC 7 Los Angeles 2/26/2020 staff

A major fire broke out at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Carson Tuesday night, sending massive flames and thick plumes of smoke into the air.

The fire was visible from miles away, as the plumes of smoke were rising up hundreds of feet into the air. Some residents reported hearing a large boom in the area when the fire broke out just before 11 p.m. at the 2300 block of East 223rd Street.

Both sides of the 405 Freeway were temporarily shut down in the area, but reopened within less than an hour.

The refinery's own firefighters were on scene fighting the blaze and working to depressurize the system, while units from the Los Angeles County Fire Department arrived to assist.

The county fire department said there was an explosion before the fire broke out in a cooling tower at the refinery.

Personnel from the refinery were keeping the flames in check through "fixed ground monitors," the department said.

L.A. County Fire spokesperson Tony Imbrenda said people in the area do not need to worry about respiratory hazards, but recommended residents stay indoors and keep windows closed.

A safety officer at the refinery stated perimeter monitors did not detect harmful products in the air coming from the location due to the fire.

"Residual pressure from remaining flammable gas is still contributing to limited fire activity. Engineers continue work to isolate fuel sources," L.A. County Fire Department tweeted at about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday as they continued making progress on the blaze overnight.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. The cause of the explosion was still under investigation.

The Marathon refinery is believed to be the largest on the West Coast, processing some 363,000 barrels per day.


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