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A Chevron oil refinery in the Bay area was shut down late Monday night after an on-site fire sent black plumes of smoke into the California sky.
Witnesses reported hearing a series of loud booms, but a company spokesperson denied there were any explosions set off by the blaze.
NBC News reports that the Richmond, Calif., refinery is now facing a prolonged closure, which could bump up gas prices across the country. No one was killed in the fire, though one worker was treated on-site for burns, and about 200 people have sought treatment for respiratory problems.
The Contra Costa Times notes that thousands in the area faced shelter-in-place warnings and were instructed to keep their windows and doors shut until the fire was contained at around 11 p.m. that night. The warnings stretched into San Pablo, North Richmond, El Cerrito, and North Oakland.
No official cause for the fire has been released yet, but the Times reports that a Chevron spokeswoman said the diesel fuel-processing unit that caught fire first was being investigated for a leak before the fire. After determining that the leak wouldn't be easily contained, crews were moved from the unit, after which the fire broke out, she said.
The refinery is the third-largest in the state and one of the oldest in the United States. The last explosion and fire at the Chevron refinery was in 2007.