Lake Charles Oil Refinery Struck By Lightning, Prompting Shelter-In-Place, Evacuation Orders


Brent Foster Contributor
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A Saturday lightning strike started a fire at an oil refinery, prompting evacuation along with shelter-in-place orders in Lake Charles, Louisiana, KPLC reported.

The Calcasieu Refining Company suffered the tank fire over the weekend. Evacuation and shelter-in-place orders applied to individuals within a three-mile radius of the facility, according to KPLC.

Individuals within 1.5 miles of the facility faced mandatory evacuation orders, the outlet reported.

Louisiana State Police confirmed the tank contained naphtha, a flammable product containing hydrocarbons, according to KPLC.

Greg Langley, a spokesman with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), said the tank held approximately 46,000 barrels at the beginning of the fire, according to KPLC.

The fire continued past 7:30 p.m. Saturday night when around 12 feet of product remained in the tank, which had a diameter of 150 feet, the outlet reported.

Langley said the LDEQ and the Phillips 66 energy manufacturing and logistics company monitored air quality and obtained “non-detect” readings, KPLC reported. (RELATED: Multiple People Reportedly Injured After Explosion Ignites Massive Fire At Shell Oil Refinery Plant In Texas)

Lake Charles Police said the evacuation and shelter-in-place orders were lifted close to 5:37 a.m. Sunday morning. No one suffered injuries from the blaze, according to KPLC.