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A big fire at one of the country's largest oil refineries shot gas -- should -- giant clouds of thick smoke.
Into the -- not far from San Francisco it's sent hundreds of people hospitals and breeding problems.
And fuel experts predict it could push up gas prices on the West Coast by as much as thirty cents a gallon.
It all started last night with some reported they heard loud blasts.
One man city thought it was a bomb then the flames appeared.
And smoke poured into the sky for hours on end.
Officials at that Chevron refinery confirmed the fire broke out and it's crude unit after a diesel leak ignited.
-- -- crews contain the fire and about five hours and -- report they could see the smoke from miles away.
Keep in mind that -- refinery is in Richmond California it's just across the bay from San Francisco population more than 800000.
Doctors at one nearby hospital that the roof at near that -- refinery say the fire broke out and they've treated as many as 300 patients complaining of breathing trouble.
Trace Gallagher is in -- West Coast newsroom separate entries -- -- they they tested the air there do we know about.
Results of that test.
Not yet shed their supposed to get those -- results back sometime this hour but then they -- to analyze and so it really could be a couple of hours before we know but still people are showing up to local hospitals complaining.
A breathing problem so this information clearly is key.
And a Hazmat teams went out and got air samples from neighborhoods as far away as Oakland which is about ten miles from Richmond.
When the fire first happened people in that local vicinity were told to stay inside their homes no heat no air conditioner.
No fans for about five and a half hours keep in mind there is still a small fire burning at the refinery.
But Chevron says that's on purpose listen.
There's a controlled.
That is a safety release device similar to a flare that is making sure that other hydrocarbons -- not ignite that that has not changed.
And we cannot speculate on how long that's gonna take.
Chevron by the way is holding a public meeting in Richmond tonight to answer questions for residents there and to let them air their concerns as well -- and now the concerns about gas prices Trace -- 8910%.
Yeah I think it's going to be a lot the damage as a human fully -- to the Richmond refinery and there are some markets in California reportedly that have raised their prices 35 cents a gallon all right.
Already take a look at these numbers here.
Of the entire region's gas comes from that refinery in Richmond it's also a special blend.
Which is more expensive.
Today the average price for a gallon of gas in California three dollars and 86 cents a gallon.
By tomorrow all over the state the experts say it'll be -- Bob May be well above four dollars a gallon Washington.
-- in Arizona Nevada will likely see their prices rise in coming days as well and if this refinery stays off line for an extended period.
Prices could go up significantly higher while Trace Gallagher in Los Angeles -- thank you -- --
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