Update from Chevron at 7:15 a.m., Tuesday
The main fire has now been extinguished. Safety officials are allowing a small controlled burn as a safety measure to reduce pressure. This is helping to ensure more hydrocarbons don't escape. This is similar in concept to how refineries utilize flares.
The shelter in place was ended by Contra Costa County Health Services at 11:31 p.m. last night. The Refinery also ended our shelter in place by 11:49 p.m. last evening.
All employees and contractors are safely accounted for. Three employees sustained minor injuries and were treated on site.
Bay City News 10 p.m.:
As a large fire continues to burn at Chevron's Richmond refinery tonight, Chevron is apologizing for the blaze, which has prompted a shelter-in-place warning for thousands of Contra Costa County residents.
Refinery general manager Nigel Hearne said at a news conference tonight that the fire began at 6:30 p.m., and that one employee suffered a minor burn to his wrist and was treated on site. He offered an apology to residents and said the priority is extinguishing the blaze.
"As you can see, we've made significant progress, and we're still in the process of controlling the fire," Hearne said.
He said Chevron is working with government agencies and regulators on site to determine the cause of the blaze.
Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks said there were reports of explosions around the time the fire started.
Chevron issued the following statement shortly before 8 p.m. Monday about the refinery fire in Richmond. Patch will update this post as Chevron continues to release information about the fire.
A fire started at our 4 Crude Unit at 6:15 pm today. At this time we do not have details about the cause of the incident. All employees have been safely accounted for and there are no injuries.
We have comprehensive plans and procedures in place to respond to situations like the one we are facing. We are working with all appropriate local authorities.
We will take all measures necessary to provide for the safety and security of our facilities and the surrounding community.
We are responding to this incident as quickly as we can and are deploying highly trained personnel to assess and manage the situation.
We will not speculate on the cause of this incident. Our priority right now is containing the fire and protecting the health and safety of our employees and community.
We will provide updates as more information can be confirmed.