Great Falls

May 24, 2012 8:31 PM by Kay Rossi (kay@krtv.com)

Small fire quickly handled at Great Falls refinery

A small fire erupted at the Montana Refining Company in Great Falls after a chemical leak at the plant on Thursday.

An MRC official says that a small tube leak fire occurred inside the heater fire box.

Great Falls Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Steve Hester says a flammable chemical called naptha overfilled and fire started burning into one of the stacks.

Water doused the flames and Hester said refinery officials just worked to keep the stack cool, and said this type of event isn't out of the ordinary.

The MRC fire brigade put the fire out in about 20 minutes, with GFFR personnel on scene for backup, if necessary.

No injuries were reported and Hester says no toxic chemicals were released into the atmosphere.

(First on KRTV.com, 1:33 pm) We have received several reports of a fire at the refinery in Great Falls.

The refinery is located near the corner of Smelter Avenue and the 9th Street bridge.

Flames could be seen from the KRTV/US Bank Eyecam as of 1:25, along with streams of water being pointed at the flames.

Click here to see the latest eyecam image.

We have dispatched reporter Kay Rossi to get more information.

There are no reports of any injuries.

We will update you as we learn more.

UPDATE, 1:40 pm: Reporter Kay Rossi spoke with Steve Hester of Great Falls Fire Rescue, who told her that the fire is under control, and that no injuries have been reported.

Hester said that a refinery official told him that the fire was triggered by a small chemical leak, and that it is not uncommon.

He indicated to Hester that refinery staff are following standard procedures for dealing with such events.

Hester said that there are no concerns about toxic smoke or fumes.

The fire was reported at 1:25 pm.

We will have an update online soon and on the 5:30 KRTV newscast.

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