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May 18, 2010 > Fire damages Newark Oil Refinery

Fire damages Newark Oil Refinery

Submitted By Aisha Knowles, Alameda County Fire Department

On Wednesday, May 12 at 12:43 a.m. Alameda County firefighters responded to a report of a commercial structure fire at 6880 Smith Avenue in Newark. First arriving units responded quickly to the Evergreen Oil refinery to find a heater stack with heavy smoke and flames billowing out from the top of the five-story unit.

An aggressive exterior fire attack was instantly initiated with multiple master streams of water in an attempt to prevent the fire from spreading within the refinery and consuming adjacent equipment. According to the Evergreen Oil Management staff, heat transfer fluid, a non-hazardous petroleum product was identified as the material burning from the heater stack.

Throughout the duration of the incident the air quality was monitored and it was determined that issuing a shelter-in-place order was not necessary. Due to the large size of the Evergreen Oil facility and the potential threat of what firefighters were facing during the initial phase of the fire, a third alarm response was called for this incident. It took 65 firefighters from the Alameda County, Union City and Fremont Fire Departments to extinguish the fire in 90 minutes using a well-coordinated exterior attack.

There were no injuries to Evergreen Oil employees or firefighters reported during the incident. Although one heater stack sustained significant damage during the fire, the remainder of the Evergreen Oil facility, which operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, was able to continue normal operations following the incident. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation.

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