A fire at the Tesoro Refinery site in Salt Lake City Friday left the plant without power for several hours, but no injuries were reported.
Calls and emails to Tesoro officials were not immediately returned, but the Utah Department of Environmental Quality reported that it was monitoring air quality in the area after the blaze, which was quickly extinguished, resulted in the electrical loss Friday morning.
Meanwhile, DEQ officials said subsequent sightings of flaring flames at the site, located near 1000 North and Beck Street, actually resulted from the burning off of volatile organic compounds associated with the refining process.
“[This] eliminates the possibility of explosions and … hazardous air pollutants that would otherwise be released,” the DEQ stated.
Whatever fire there was appeared to have been handled quickly by the refinery’s own firefighters. Salt lake City Fire Department spokesman Jasen Asay confirmed that crews responded to a 10:15 a.m. call to the site, but aborted the response after not finding anything amiss upon arrival.
Tesoro’s refinery has operated since 1908 and currently is the largest in Utah with a total crude-oil capacity of 58,000 barrels per day. The facility processes crude oil from Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Canada into gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, heavy fuel oils and liquefied petroleum gas.
Those products are distributed through a network of terminals and pipelines throughout Utah, including Salt Lake City International Airport, as well as markets in Idaho, eastern Washington, Nevada and Wyoming.