Fire at Valero refinery in Port Arthur

Fire at Valero refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. (NBC News)
Fire at Valero refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. (NBC News)

PORT ARTHUR, Texas (KXAN) — A fire at a refinery in the Southeast Texas city of Port Arthur sent black plumes of smoke into the air and caused officials to tell people nearby to shelter in place.

Valero Energy Corp. spokeswoman Lillian Riojas told The Associated Press in an email that the fire started at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday in a heavy oil tank. She says Valero emergency crews responded and the Port Arthur Fire Department assisted. She said the company also contacted local authorities and is cooperating with public agencies.

The city said that the shelter-in-place, which included some schools, was lifted by about 2:30 p.m. Riojas said the shelter-in-place was done as a precautionary measure.

Riojas said there were no reported injuries and all employees were accounted for.

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