First responders have extinguished a fire inside ExxonMobil’s sprawling Baton Rouge refinery complex that caused concern among area residents and bathed the night sky in an orange glow that was visible for miles.
The fire started at about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The cause of the blaze is unclear, but company and local officials said there was no explosion. No injuries have been reported.
Baton Rouge Fire Department officials said in an early morning press conference on Wednesday that the company’s on-site firefighters contained the blaze without outside assistance. BRFD spokesman Curt Monte said local first responders were assisting ExxonMobil to monitor air quality in the area.
“We want the people to know that there has not been any off-site impact and we’re going to continue to be out here as long as it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Monte said.
ExxonMobil spokesperson Megan Manchester said the company’s preliminary tests did not indicate a significant impact to air quality.
“Once deemed safe, our teams will go in to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of this incident and how we can learn from it,” Manchester said.
The Advocate reported that state environmental quality agents were on the scene.
ExxonMobil is the largest manufacturing employer in Louisiana. It’s Baton Rouge refinery is the fifth-largest in the nation.
A series of explosions at ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge facility in 1989 killed two people and shattered the windows of homes in the surrounding area.