Worker douses small fire at North Pole refinery

Posted: Friday, May 03, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A worker is credited with quickly dousing a small fire that broke out at the Williams Alaska Petroleum refinery in North Pole.

About 200 employees were evacuated from the area for about 30 minutes in the Wednesday morning mishap.

The blaze likely started when heat from a welder's torch ignited particles inside an empty pipe at Crude Unit 2, according to Williams Alaska spokesman Jeff Cook. He said officials believe flaking inside the pipe caused by corrosion ignited.

A hand-held extinguisher snuffed out the fire. The North Pole Fire Department ensured the fire was out, Cook said.

The company had just begun work on a $10 million upgrade and maintenance program on Crude Unit 2, Cook said. It had been shut down and pipes emptied for the work, he said.

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