The Saratoga Sun -

Sinclair reports fire

Monday morning refinery blaze quickly controlled


A fire at the Sinclair Oil Refinery that broke out in the wee hours of Dec. 12 was quickly-contained and caused no serious damage or injuries according to Sinclair’s Community Relations Director Ryta Sondergard. One of the plant’s four operating units was affected by the blaze, which was reported around 1 a.m. and declared completely out around 5 a.m.

There was no evacuation of workers following the incident, and the flames were contained within five minutes of detection, according to a press release from the company. The refinery never shut down, production schedules are not expected to be impacted and an internal investigation team has been assembled to determine the causes of the outbreak, according to Sondergard.

Sinclair will not say which of the four units was affected, and is releasing few other details pending the results of the internal investigation. “They will be very thorough,” Sondergard said, but declined to speculate as to when more information will be released.

The investigation team will be composed of Sinclair’s Safety Operations unit and internal leadership, Sondergard said. Insurance policies held by the company may pay for any damages to the plant.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in three years,” Sondergard said, referring to a 2013 fire at the plant that resulted in over $200,000 in fines being levied against the company.

Sondergard said melting and thawing during temperature swings may have played a contributing role in the blaze but said it was impossible to know before investigations are concluded. She credited good training to the quick suppression of the fire.

“It happened, it’s over and it’s under internal investigation,” she summed up.


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