Phillips 66 refinery in Carson hit by second fire in two months


For the second time in less than two months, firefighters scrambled Thursday to put out a blaze involving the crude oil pumps at the Phillips 66 refinery in Carson.

No injuries were reported and no evacuations were ordered for nearby neighborhoods as about 120 Los Angeles County firefighters knocked down the flames at the refinery, in the 1500 block of East Sepulveda Boulevard, officials said.

The fire was reported at 4:55 p.m. and was under control about three hours later, said Michael Pittman, a supervisory fire dispatcher.


Pittman described the incident as “a pump fire with residual product burning off” and said crews were working to shut off the valves to stem the additional flow of oil.

Residents in nearby cities were advised to keep windows closed as thick smoke rose from the fire. Inspectors from South Coast Air Quality Management District were sent to monitor the situation.

A similar incident occurred March 15, when three of the facility’s four crude oil pumps were involved in a fire that took about three hours to douse.

That fire and other refinery outages have contributed to soaring gasoline prices in Southern California this spring. The average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in the Los Angeles-Long Beach region has climbed to $4.12, according to the American Automobile Assn.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which tracks fuel prices, said in a statement on Twitter that it was too early to predict the impact of Thursday’s fire.

“We don’t yet know enough about the extent of the damage to know what may happen in the days ahead to gas prices,” he said.