Newark oil refinery fire burned for 90 minutes
More than 60 firefighters, including those from Fremont and Union City, were called to Evergreen Oil refinery in Newark early Wednesday to extinguish a three-alarm fire that was contained to the plant’s five-story tall heater stack. Firefighters doused the flames at the Smith Avenue complex for nearly an hour and a half before they were fully extinguished.
The blaze, which was reported about 12:45 a.m., damaged only the heater stack and did not require the plant to shutdown, said Aisha Knowles, spokeswoman for the Alameda County Fire Department. Refinery officials told firefighters during the blaze that a petroleum-based fluid appeared to catch fire inside the stack, Knowles said.
According to their website, Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) engineers provide engineering support to this plant and help optimize operation (reliability and yield improvement).
Sequoia recommends that heaters should be designed and built with fire snuffing arrangements to smother an uncontrolled fire inside a heater. It is not clear Evergreen Oil had such fire smothering provisions and if CEP recommended these as part of their responsibility toward reliability of the Newark plant.