Firefighters are battling with a blaze that has torn through oil giant Chevron’s Richmond refinery in California. Officials have warned residents to stay indoors as toxic fumes have been released duringthe fire. The blaze has been brought under control by firefighters, but has not been put out. The fire reportedly started in the facility’s main processing unit at 6:15pm local time Monday (01:15 GMT Tuesday). Large flames and towers of black smoke could be seen issuing from the blaze as fire fighters struggled to bring the inferno under control.
Residents have been warned not to leave their homes as toxic sulfuric acid and nitrogen dioxide were release during the fire. “The biggest concern is the smoke,”Randy Sawyer, an environmental health officer at Contra Costa County Health Services told Al Jazeera. He advised residents to“go inside shut their doors and windows. Keep the outside air, the smoke, from going inside your home.”
Spokesperson for Chevron Walt Gill told the local press that it was unknown when the fire would be extinguished. Gill described the incident as a disappointment and he apologized for “inconveniencing our neighbors.”