Largest oil refinery on US West Coast erupts in flames

Fire crews have been scrambled to contain a massive blaze at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Carson, California. Flames lashed the sky, reaching at least 100 feet in the air.

Largest oil refinery on US West Coast erupts in flames
Flames lashed the sky, reaching at least 100 feet in the air.

Fire crews have been scrambled to contain a massive blaze at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Carson, California. Flames lashed the sky, reaching at least 100 feet in the air.

There was reportedly an explosion at the refinery’s cooling tower before the fire broke out roughly 18 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Eyewitness footage from the scene shows the extent of the fire as it ripped through parts of the facility in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

The fire forced the closure of nearby freeways for approximately 30 minutes as the Los Angeles County Fire Department worked to bring the blaze under control while Marathon workers depressurized the system at the refinery.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that no evacuations were necessary but they established a security perimeter around the facility and said that they would be monitoring air quality as a precautionary measure. 

The refinery is the largest on the West Coast of the US, with a crude oil capacity of 363,000 barrels per day.