Massive fire guts Marathon’s California refinery

A fire burns after an explosion at the Marathon Refinery in Carson, California on Tuesday. (Photo: Scott Varley, Orange County Register)

Los Angeles County firefighters have responded to a large refinery fire that temporarily closed all lanes of the 405 Freeway Tuesday night (Feb. 25) in the city of Carson.

As of Wednesday, the fire has reportedly been contained, with responders simply allowing the remaining fuel to burn off.

KTLA-TV reports that massive flames could be seen burning from the Marathon Petroleum Corporation located 13 miles (21 kilometers) south of downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said the fire sparked about 10:50 pm. An explosion went off before the fire began burning in a cooling tower at the refinery, the department said.

Personnel from the refinery were keeping the flames in check through “fixed ground monitors” while working to depressurize the system, fire officials said.

Marathon is the largest refinery on the US west coast, according to its website, with a crude oil capacity of 363,000 barrels per calendar day.

The company manufactures gasoline and diesel fuel, along with distillates, petroleum coke, anode-grade coke, chemical-grade propylene, fuel-grade coke, heavy fuel oil and propane.

Authorities at the scene could not immediately ascertain what sparked the blaze, however, no injuries have been reported so far.