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Leak Sparks Fire at Wyoming Oil Refinery
An equipment leak is being blamed for a fire at HollyFrontier’s refinery here Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, the refinery’s human resources director, Don Finley, said the leak occurred in a piece of equipment adjacent to the refinery’s delayed coker unit.
A tall smokestack-like structure, the coker unit distills heavy residual oil into other products by heating it to more than 900 degrees.
Finley said the fire started shortly after noon and burned for nearly two hours while the refinery’s fire brigade worked to cool affected equipment and isolate the flames.
The brigade was assisted by Cheyenne Fire and Rescue, which dispatched three engines, an aerial truck and a battalion chief. American Medical Response provided emergency medical services on site.
Finley said the blaze was extinguished by 1:45 p.m. with all employees and contractors accounted for and uninjured.
He said that because the coker unit operates independently from the rest of the refinery other operations should be unaffected and there appear to be no off-site impacts.
The refinery’s fire brigade will be in charge of investigating the cause of the fire. Finley said it is still too early to determine exactly how the leak started or the dollar value of the damage to the facility.
Wednesday’s was the first major fire at the refinery since July 28, 2010 when fire broke out in the refinery’s main crude oil distillation unit.
Copyright 2013 – Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne