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Firefighters extinguish 'major' blaze at oil refinery building

January 16, 2012 |  9:33 am

A “major emergency” fire that consumed most of a two-story office building Monday at ConocoPhillips’ Wilmington oil refinery is now out, fire officials said.

The knockdown was declared shortly after 8 a.m., nearly four hours after the fire was first reported, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence. A total of 166 firefighters battled the blaze, which was contained to an administrative building and did not threaten any other refinery facilities.

“This freestanding structure was located some distance away from the refinery itself,” Spence said. “At no time was the refinery or any petroleum products in jeopardy.”

Spence said the second floor and the attic of the structure appeared to be a total loss, but fire crews were able to save the first floor of the building, which is located in San Pedro. The tiled roof of the building, which authorities estimate may be as much as 100 years old, collapsed partially as the blaze was being fought, complicating the effort.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No damage estimates were immediately available. 

Oil company officials provided technical expertise on the scene of the fire, Spence said.


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-- Victoria Kim


Photo: Firefighters battle a blaze that consumed most of an administration building at the ConocoPhillips refinery. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times