Blaze Erupts in Drum at Refinery in Carson

More than 50 Los Angeles County firefighters were dispatched to the Arco refinery in Carson Monday after a blaze broke out in an 80-foot-high drum used to manufacture petroleum coke.

The fire, which erupted about 1:50 p.m. and was extinguished 25 minutes later, was caused when a crack developed in the drum and leaking fuel ignited, an Arco spokesman said. The fire generated huge black columns of smoke, officials said, but there were no injuries. About 50 people were evacuated as a precaution, said Gary Youngman, a refinery technical supervisor.

The fire burned mostly scaffolding around the 200-foot-high coker, said Stefani Freeman, a spokeswoman for the County Fire Department.

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