Fire Apparatus Investigated in Chevron Refinery Fire

Investigators investigating the fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery are looking at heaters and responding emergency vehicles as possible ignition sources for the massive vapor cloud that spewed from a leaky pipe, reports The Associated Press.

Refineries like Chevron Corp.’s have fired heaters that could have provided a spark for the Aug. 6 inferno, said Don Holmstrom, the lead investigator for the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

A responding Chevron fire truck could be another possible spark source, since the 150-to-200-foot-high vapor cloud covered a large area and engulfed more than a dozen workers who narrowly escaped serious injury, he said.

The investigator said diesel-powered trucks and generators have been ignition sources at other large refinery fires, including at BP’s Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 workers and injured dozens more.

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