Update at 10:35 p.m.
Chevron spokeswoman Heather Kulp told KRON TV at 10:28 p.m. that the fire had been fully contained.
Another refinery spokesman, Nigel Hearne, issued an apology at an earlier news conference aired on KRON about 9:35 p.m. and said the cause of the 6:30 p.m. fire in the number 4 crude unit was unknown. He indicated that fire was still being battled.
He also said one worker was treated at the refinery for a minor wrist burn, but Kulp later said the injury was smoke inhalation, not a burn.
Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia said many people had gone to Doctors hospital with respiratory complaints, and KRON TV said the emergency room was "packed" with people experiencing breathing problems, burning eyes and irritation of mucous membranes.
A large fire erupted at the Chevron refinery in Richmond tonight, Monday, spewing a huge plume visible for miles and prompting authorities to issue a shelter-in-place warning.
Flames were seen shooting out of at least two towers at the refinery.
Chevron says all employees have been accounted for and there are no injuries. are in San Ramon.
Contra Costa Health Services activated its emergency phone notification system and issued a shelter-in-place warning for Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo. Residents were urged to remain indoors, and to close all windows and doors and seal any cracks to protect the interior from outside air.
KTVU reported that officials have issued a level-3 community warning, meaning that the fire can cause eye, skin, nose or respiratory irritation.
In a statement, Chevron said the fire started at the 4 Crude Unit at 6:15 pm and they do not know what caused the accident.
A KTVU reporter on scene said she heard alarms, a loud boom and saw a large black plume of smoke and flames.
"We have comprehensive plans and procedures in place to respond to situations like the one we are facing. We are working with all appropriate local authorities," Chevron said in a press release. "We will take all measures necessary to provide for the safety and security of our facilities and the surrounding community."
Service at BART's Richmond, El Cerrito Del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza in response to the and shelter-in-place warning.
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