(02/06/19) An investigation is underway into a fire at Delek: El Dorado refinery,previously known as Lion Oil.
The fire occurred around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in a pump at the refinery. El Dorado Fire Department wasn’t called to put the fire out. The refinery has its own safety team and fire brigade.
Officers with the El Dorado Police Department weren’t dispatched either. They did respond based on the continuous sirens that went off alerting the fire. Upon arrival, they began to divert traffic until the fire was put out.
There were no injuries reported though the fire did cause a scare for residents who live in the area.
“My house started vibrating and I thought someone was breaking into my house,” said Sandra Lee.
When she and others saw the thick black smoke, they knew something was wrong. Many in the area evacuated their homes. Others like Mrs. Shelly Davis chose to stay.
“From the back of my house there was a lot of dark smoke coming out but I didn’t get up to see what it was,” said Davis. “I’ve been here for so long and I’m use to all of this.”
Davis and her husband have been living in the area for 40 years. The fire yesterday is only one element to a combination of issues.
Rochell Thompson has been living in the area for almost 10 years. She was in the shower when she heard the sirens going off. Her grandkids were supposed to come to her house but her daughter wouldn’t let them go.
“She didn’t want them in this environment cause of the smell and then the yellow stuff was coming out of the buildings,” said Thompson.
It’s not the first time something like this happened. Residents say they should be the first to know what’s going in their community.
“This community over here we all had called last time it happened they never did get back with us so they’re not going to do anything this time,” said Thompson. “It’s just a loss cause.”
Davis has had thoughts of leaving because of the issues including the smell from the chemicals in the air.
“It’s getting to get scary here living around all of this,” said Davis.
Officials with Delek issued a statement saying, “Delek has been in regular contact with local and state authorities. No off-site environmental impacts are anticipated but monitoring of ambient air continues as a precaution.”
They are investigating what caused the fire.