Superior seeks 'return to normal' following refinery fire

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By Thursday night, many residents of Superior had to evacuate their homes as a result of the fire and potentially hazardous material in the air or water resulting from the incident.

Mayor Paine said the team that managed the crisis had prepared for a long time and acted with sound judgment and courage to prevent any fatalities.

"Anybody breathing that stuff should be very concerned about what's getting into deep tissue, into the bloodstream", Carman said.

EPA official David Morrison said they were monitoring air quality on Thursday, using equipment on the crews who were right at the heart of the fire.

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Since the fire began, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been monitoring the air to make sure it's safe to breathe. "In one of the largest disasters our community has ever seen, everybody's going home at the end of the day". Concerns that hydrogen fluoride, a toxic chemical used in the refining process, could escape the facility prompted officials to exercise extreme caution and to call for a mandatory evacuation of everyone within 3 miles of the fire or up to 10 miles in the sparsely populated area downwind. "And besides, we won some money", she said.

"We found consistent low trace levels, well below any health standards, virtually anywhere we went for volatile chemicals, particulate and dust", Morrison said.

Panger earlier said the fire was out, but Superior police tweeted that the fire has reignited but that there is no need for residents to evacuate.

"Once we understood the full response plan, yes, I think it was our responsibility", he said, adding that he and his team meant to publicly lay out the potentially risky situation at a 7 p.m. press conference Thursday.

Superior Refinery Fire Extinguished
Firefighters are not able to attack the active fire because it's burning too hot, Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said. Local officials say the evacuations are a precaution as a plume of noxious black smoke drifts southward from the plant.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Superior refinery had been fined by federal authorities three years ago, when it was still owned by Calumet Specialty Products Partners, which Husky Energy bought it from in 2017 for US$490 million. Firefighters successfully extinguished the fires around 6:45 p.m., after burning for about eight hours.

"So while we were trying to be transparent, we were trying to truly protect the public as well".

The refinery had additional workers on site preparing for a plant-wide overhaul when the blast occurred, Husky said.

"Our focus in the days ahead will turn to the investigation and understanding the root cause of the incident", Husky Energy said.

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