At 6:15 PM Pacific time a fire broke out at the Chevron Oil Refinery in Richmond, California
At 8:39 PM an amber alert was issued to all residents in the region advising them to seal up their homes and take shelter.
RESIDENTS IN RICHMOND. NORTH RICHMOND AND SAN PABLO. ARE ADVISED TO SHELTER IN PLACE. GO INSIDE. CLOSE ALL WINDOWS AND DOORS. TURN OFF ALL HEATERS. AIR CONDITIONERS AND FANS. IF NOT USING THE FIREPLACE. CLOSE FIREPLACE DAMPERS AND VENTS. AND COVER CRACKS AROUND DOORS AND WINDOWS WITH TAPE OR DAMPED TOWELS. MEDIA NEWS NETWORKS WILL CONTINUE TO CARRY UPDATED EMERGENCY INFORMATION. STAY OFF THE TELEPHONE UNLESS YOU HAVE A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY.
The fire burned for more than two and a half hours after the refinery's crude oil unit erupted.
The eruption spread smoke from the crude oil fire over both Richmond and the neighboring San Pablo.
The biggest concern are chemicals found in the large black plumes of smoke coming from the factory.
Crude oil is a mixture of a wide variety of constituents. It consists primarily of hydrocarbons, which are chemicals composed of hydrogen and carbon. Crude oil also contains hundreds of substances that include benzene, chromium, iron, mercury, nickel, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, toluene, and xylene. Total petroleum hydrocarbons is a term used to describe the several hundred chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil.