Officials fighting a major fire tonight at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, north of Oakland and Berkeley, have advised residents to stay inside in Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo.
Thousands of East Bay residents were ordered to stay in their homes with the windows and doors closed Monday night after a series of explosions and fires tore through Chevron's Richmond refinery.
The explosions started about 6:15 p.m. and at least two large fires spewed thick, black smoke into the darkening sky.
The fire started at the refinery's No. 4 Crude Unit, Chevron officials said. Just before 6:30 p.m., an inspection crew discovered that there was a diesel leak in a line in the unit - and that the leak was growing.
Shortly after the crew evacuated the area, the diesel ignited, said Nigel Hearne, manager of the refinery.
All employees had been accounted for and there were no fatalities, but one refinery worker suffered burns to his wrist and was treated at the on-site clinic.
About five minutes after the explosions, sirens tore through the air, alerting residents to stay indoors to prevent breathing tainted air.
Photo from KGO-TV slidehow