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What was that loud noise in Great Falls on Wednesday morning?

Calumet refinery in Great Falls
Posted at 11:18 AM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 13:28:33-04

An incident at Calumet Montana Refining early on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, got the attention of many Great Falls and Black Eagle residents.

The incident triggered a very loud alarm that was heard by many people at about 5:20 a.m.

Calumet said in an email to KRTV that the refinery experienced what it called an "operational upset" that resulted in a small fire.

Some people initially thought the alarm/siren was a warning for an imminent dam breach. Some reactions on Facebook:

  • "What was that noise this morning. Went off 3 times. I thought for sure the purge was going to happen."
  • "it definitely woke me up with a little panic."
  • "We thought it sounded like the refinery "noon" horn going off three times."
  • "did any one hear those like warning sirens this morning?"

The fire was contained and extinguished by Calumet personnel and there were no injuries.

Wayne Leiker of Calumet said in the email: “Our teams immediate and effective response to this incident is a testament to their commitment and training.”