Fire reported at Citgo refinery
Staff report October 23, 2013 9:53PM
Updated: November 25, 2013 1:31PM
A fire at the Citgo oil refinery in southwest suburban Lemont late Wednesday sent flames shooting high into the night sky, sparked concern among citizens — but caused no injuries.
The fire started about 7:40 p.m. in the refinery’s crude oil unit, which was immediately shut down, according to a statement issued by Citgo spokesman Pete Colarelli.
“I know there was a lot of work being done at the refinery, something sparked, which caused the fire,” Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves said.
Citgo’s own fire department and firefighters from local suburban departments helped bring the fire under control, Colarelli said in the statement issued just after 10 p.m.
There were no injuries or evacuations, Colarelli said. The refinery is conducting air monitoring.
“The safety of our employees and the surrounding community remains our first priority.” he said.
All employees have been accounted for, Lemont’s Reaves said. Reaves said he and other Lemont trustees and former Lemont mayors had been fielding calls from concerned citizens.
“I got an ‘all clear message’ from the fire department at 9:45 p.m. Anything on the ground right now is small fires, hot spots,” said Reaves, who’d been in touch with the Ctigo fire chief.
The vast refinery operation covers land in Lemont, unincorporated areas nearby and parts of Romeoville.
The area around the refinery is not heavily populated, Reaves said.
When asked if the refinery has been a good neighbor to the citizens of Lemont, he responded: “Absolutely.”