A fire at Chalmette Refining late Monday produced a lot of smoke but was quickly brought under control by the plant’s fire response team, authorities said. No one was hurt and there were no evacuations in the area around the plant. The fire prompted authorities to close the Chalmette ferry, but it reopened later Monday.
The fire in the refinery’s catalytic cracker broke out about 4:30 p.m. and was brought under control 10 minutes later, said St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone.
“The smoke made it look a lot worse than it really was,” Stone said. He said the cause of the blaze is under investigation. The catalytic cracker converts heavy fuel oil into gasoline, refinery spokeswoman Carolina Asirifi said.
She was not sure of the extent of damage caused by the fire, but the refinery remained open and operating. Chalmette Refining is a joint venture of ExxonMobil Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela.