Cherry Point fire cause nailed down to oil refinery unit

Cherry Point fire cause nailed down to oil refinery unit

Cherry Point fire cause nailed down to oil refinery unit

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 4:17 PM

NEAR FERNDALE, Wash. --  The cause of the huge fire at the Cherry Point oil refinery ten days ago appears to be a failure in the Crude Vacuum Unit, according to BP .

BP Refinery Manager Stacey McDaniel released a statement Monday, indicating the failure in the refinery's Crude Vacuum Unit caused a release of resid, described as a heavier crude oil product, which ignited when it came in contact with air.

BP said their mission now is to determine how the failure in the unit occurred.

The refinery remains mostly shut down while the Department of Labor and Industries investigates the incident, said McDaniel.

No one was hurt when part of the plant exploded in flames February 7. The Environmental Protection Agency deemed no threat to public health as a result of the accident.

Cherry Point is Washington's largest oil refinery, and the third largest on the West Coast. Economists have said the closure of the refinery may be contributing to higher gas prices in Washington state.

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