San Joaquin Unscathed by Truck Fire

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A fire Thursday morning involving a tanker truck and a flatbed truck at San Joaquin Refinings Bakersfield, Calif., refinery resulted in explosions, but 40 firefighters extinguished it and successfully protected nearby oil tanks.

San Joaquins refinery has about 8,100 barrels per day of naphthenic base oil capacity.

The fire originated in one of the trucks, Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins told Lube Report. The tanker truck which was involved in the fire did disintegrate with explosive force, which caused part of that truck to spread across the area there.

According to a fire department statement, several explosions occurred during the early stages of the fire, which was called in at about 4:28 a.m. Large pieces of debris fell around the firefighters as they fought the fire.

The fire department said flames were directly impinging on a 42,000 gallon oil tank, with three similar sized tanks in close proximity. Firefighters set up two ground monitors and an aerial monitor from a ladder truck to deliver copious amounts of water to protect the tanks, the department stated. Fire crews contained the fire to the vehicles, bringing it under control in approximately 30 minutes.

Operations was interrupted for about 12 hours, and everythings back to normal, Ed Starbuck, San Joaquin Refinings vice president of operations, told Lube Report yesterday. Were really fortunate because there were no [serious] injuries and there were no major structures involved. In-plant water monitors came on as theyre supposed to come on, and kept everything cool and in control. The fire department responded great. The cause remains under investigation, Starbuck said.

According to Starbuck, the two truck drivers had minor injuries, one with a bruised wrist and the other having cuts to the face.

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