Seattle: A fire at a refinery in Tacoma, Washington on Wednesday sent plumes of dark smoke across the sky as it burned for two hours.
The blaze began in the morning in the 600-foot-high production stack of a distillation unit at the US Oil & Refinery.
For a while the fire threatened to collapse the stack filled with crude oil. The unit is used to process crude into different forms of fuel, such as gasoline and diesel, by heating it up. But some leaked oil was ignited by the heater’s flame.
The company’s operators, who have fire-fighting training, were joined by the Tacoma Fire Department, and ran water on the lower stack while the fire burned off, reducing the risk of a collapse or explosion.
The refinery produces 39,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
No injuries were reported.