UT:Sunday fire closes Woods Cross refinery

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Sunday fire closes Woods Cross refinery

Damage to facility could have been worse

Wed, July 4, 2001 00:00:00

By NESREEN KHASHAN Standard-Examiner staff

WOODS CROSS -- In the wake of a petroleum tank fire at an oil refinery earlier this week, plant officials announced Tuesday that the refinery will not reopen until improvements are made to its water lines.

The Sunday night fire, which slightly injured one refinery employee and caused an estimated $100,000 damage, threatened to spread to nearby tanks and cause an explosion that could have rocked the entire facility.

The fire at Inland Refining, Inc., was contained within 20 minutes after it began, said South Davis Fire District spokesman Jim Rampton. But initially, fire crews feared the combustible liquid inside the tank could become hot enough to explode.

Firefighters moved quickly to ensure the blaze remained isolated when they discovered that there was a problem with the water pressure, Rampton said.

The decision to upgrade the lines came Monday, when refinery manager Gil Higham met with Woods Cross and South Davis Fire District officials. The plant was already linked to a 6-inch water line belonging to Woods Cross, but changes are under way to connect the refinery to larger, 10-inch lines, Higham said.

He estimated the upgrade could happen within the next several weeks, but first municipal officials and the plant must work out who will pay for the expense. That projected amount was not disclosed.

Fire and refinery officials believe the blaze may have been ignited by a faulty petroleum line that fed the tank.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 09, 2001

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