Our sister station KABC-TV reports the fire from the Marathon Petroleum Corporation was visible from miles away, as the plumes of smoke were rising up hundreds of feet into the air. The refinery is located 13 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said an explosion went off before the fire began burning in a cooling tower at the refinery, the department said.
Personnel from the refinery were keeping the flames in check through "fixed ground monitors" while working to depressurize the system, fire officials said. Authorities secured a perimeter around the refinery and did not anticipate needing to evacuate residents, officials said.
Marathon is the largest refinery on the West Coast with a crude oil capacity of 363,000 barrels per calendar day, according to the company's website. It manufactures gasoline and diesel fuel, along with distillates, petroleum coke, anode-grade coke, chemical-grade propylene, fuel-grade coke, heavy fuel oil and propane, the website says.
Authorities could not immediately confirm what sparked the fire. No injuries have been reported so far.