LAFD Battles Fire at Tesoro Oil Refinery

Friday, September 25, 2009 |

On Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:04 AM, 29 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 9 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, and 3 Foam Tenders under the direction of Assistant Chief Robert Franco responded to a Refinery Fire at 2101 East Pacific Coast Highway in the Wilmington area.

Light Force and Rescue Ambulance 38 arrived to find a large black column of smoke rising straight in the air from the Tesoro Refinery. This refinery produces 97,000 barrels of crude oil a day and is located only 23 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

As additional firefighters arrived, heavy hose streams were initiated. Task Force Commanders used ladder pipe operations which are capable of delivering 1000 GPM depending on the type of the tip used. Portable monitors, which are heavy stream appliances used in a similar manner as wagon batteries and ladder pipes were also put into operation to supply a significant amount of water on the fire quickly.

Lynn Westfall, SVP of External Affairs and Chief Economist of Tesoro stated, “The fire broke out in the coking unit at Tesoro's Wilmington refinery. The cause is under investigation and the amount of damage to the affected unit is unknown at this time. The plant is still operational but at a reduced capacity".

Two Hundred One Los Angeles firefighters along with 35 Tesoro Fire Brigade firefighters were able to obtain a knockdown in three hours and 39 minutes at 8:43 am.

No injuries were reported, although citizens in a one mile radius were briefly encouraged to remain indoors.

Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

The firefighters at the Tesoro Plant and other industry firefighters are the true experts at shutting down the flow of product. Without their help the LAFD and other fire departments could not put these fires out as effiecently. Thanks to the firefighters at Tesoro for their expertise.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 3:04, I know that Erik Scott and I worked hard behind the scenes on this 'split-shift' fire to make certain that the news media and therefore the public, knew of the commitment, teamwork and technical expertise offered to LAFD responders by the skilled professionals at the Tesoro Refinery.

On a daily basis, but especially during the rare crisis, Los Angeles Firefighters benefit greatly from technical experts and fire brigade members at Tesoro and other refineries in our region.

Thanks for writing.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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