Three dozen firefighters responded to the blaze at PBF Energy's Torrance Refining Company facility near Los Angeles. No one was injured and there was no evacuation or damage to any of the buildings outside the refinery, said Assistant Fire Chief Steve Treskes, according to the Columbian
Treskes said that using heavy streams of water, the forty-foot high flames were knocked down in about 30 minutes. There was no immediate word on damage at the plant or the cause of the explosion, however, most of the plant continued operations, reports Fox News
“All safety systems at the refinery operated properly, and all personnel are safe and accounted for,” Betsy Brien, a spokeswoman for the refinery owner, New Jersey-based PBF Energy Inc., said in a statement.
Blast comes two years to the day of explosion at same plant
On the morning of February 18, 2015, residents of Torrance were rocked out of their beds when an explosion and fire occurred at the ExxonMobil refinery in the 3700 block of West 190th Street. The explosion was so intense that people thought they had experienced an earthquake, reported Digital Journal
At that time, ExxonMobil owned the refinery but in July 2016, PBF Energy acquired
the 155,000 barrels per day refinery for $537.5 million. The acquisition increased the company's throughput capacity to 900,000 barrels per day, making it the fourth largest independent refiner in North America.
In the 2015 explosion, ExxonMobil was fined $500,000 for safety violations that had resulted in the explosion and blaze that shut the refinery down for a year, causing an increase in California gasoline prices. There were also two additional incidents at the plant in the fall of 2015, according to ABC News
. One involved a leak of modified hydrofluoric acid and the other a leak in a pressurized pipe.