Residents and businesses near an oil industry tank farm in Louisiana were subject to evacuation orders and shelter-in-place directives after a portion of the facility caught fire on Saturday, sending a plume toward the Lake Charles region.
What caused the fire at Calcasieu Refining Co. was unknown. There have been no reported injuries.
The shelter-in-place has been issued due to a crude oil tank fire at the Calcasieu Refining Company.
The order is for a 3-mile radius around Calcasieu Refining, according to Calcasieu OEP. According to the Lake Charles Fire Department, the outside limits of a shelter-in-place order have been lowered from 5 miles to 3 miles. Mandatory evacuations were in force for those up to 1.5 miles away from the tank farm.
In a statement, the fire department described the blaze as a “crude oil tank fire.” Harbor Police were looking into what started the fire. The premises were the scene of another incident on Thursday, according to port director Ricky Self, who also told NBC affiliate KPLC of Lake Charles that the fire may have begun in a location where corporate car engine oil was kept.
Authorities say a large tank is on fire; the Lake Charles Fire Department described it as a “crude oil tank fire” but the specific contents that are burning have yet to be confirmed by multiple sources. While the refinery said lightning was to blame, there are also contradicting stories with how the blaze started. Weather RADAR does show numerous thunderstorms moving through Louisiana this evening.
Plant officials in Lake Charles, Louisiana say lightning triggered a fire at the Calcasieu Refining Plant, forcing officials to evacuate areas closest to the refinery while issuing a shelter-in-place order for a broader zone. The Calcasieu Refining Company is located on the Calcasieu Ship Channel roughly five miles southwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The plant refined products include liquid propane gas, naphtha, kerosene, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and heavy vacuum gas oil.