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Published: Wednesday, 3/13/2002

Fire erupts at Oregon refinery

Sunoco Toledo Refinery and Oregon firefighters worked for more than 1 1/2 hours early yesterday to put out a blaze in a gasoline processing unit at the Woodville Road facility.

No one was hurt, Sunoco spokesman Mike Brice said.

The fire began about 12:50 a.m. in one of the Oregon refinery's gasoline-processing units. Sunoco emergency response workers and the Oregon Fire Department brought the fire under control within 45 minutes and had it extinguished an hour later.

The cause of the blaze and the extent of the damage have not been determined, Mr. Brice said.

The unit handled only a small part of the refinery's production. The facility's overall operation was not affected by the blaze, and the refinery's product supply will not be disrupted as a reult of the fire, Mr. Brice said.

Refineries nationwide typically have their own specially trained fire departments, Mr. Brice said. Sunoco employees on every shift are part of the fire crew and are notified by pager if a fire starts.

The city fire department had an aerial unit and a pumper inside the refinery and several fire trucks staged outside, Oregon Chief Ray Walendzak said.

He said the refinery's in-house fire brigade calls the city fire department when it needs help, but otherwise is “there to handle the situation immediately.

“They train for those types of incidents on any everyday basis,” Chief Walendzak said. “They know what valves to turn and what not to turn.”

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