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Evacuations lifted after refinery fire in Wisconsin; 15 hurt

29 April 2018

Superior police later tweeted that the fire had reignited and urged residents living within a one-mile radius of the refinery to leave.

"The team that really managed this crisis had prepared for this for a long time", said Superior Mayor Jim Paine.

"The area is still very hot, so they will be there for some time", Panger said.

Most of Superior was covered by the order. The corridor downwind to the south of the refinery is sparsely populated. Paine lifted an evacuation order for the city earlier Friday morning. But she said it was clear people should not have been breathing it in and she wondered how it will affect the water and air quality.

Hydrogen fluoride is a fast-acting acid that can cause deep, severe burns.

The refinery, which can process up to 38,000 barrels of oil a day, had additional workers on site preparing for a plant-wide overhaul, he said.

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger says the initial fire was out by 11:20 a.m.

Thick, black smoke could be seen for miles from the facility.

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"Right now we have confirmation that that unit was not compromised whatsoever", he said. He felt the lunch counter vibrate and pictured a truck slamming into the wall. "We threw our dogs in (Johnson's) auto".

"That was the nature of the evacuation", Paine said. She said the extent of injuries is unknown.

The cafe patrons compared notes Friday morning and questioned the official narrative that the air was safe to breathe.

There were no reports of fatalities, and all of the refinery's workers have been accounted for, Husky Energy's Duvall said. "There were very low, trace levels, well below any health standards, of volatile chemicals and dust and particulates", Morrison said. "So I suspect that product will still be holding heat for another 24 hours".

In all, 21 people sought hospital care as a result of the fire, and all but one has been released.

"First of all, which way is the plume going?" Local air quality is being monitored. "Of course we didn't want people breathing that black smoke".

Roth said the fire did not spread to the huge Enbridge crude oil terminal across the street. It produces asphalt, gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel oils, largely using heavy crude oil imported from Canada. Calumet Superior operates as a subsidiary of Calumet Specialty Products Partners, which sold the plant to Husky Energy a year ago.

Evacuations lifted after refinery fire in Wisconsin; 15 hurt