A refinery burn off has left some South Bay residents puzzled after witnessing massive flames just after midnight Tuesday.
What Torrance residents initially believed to be a fire was actually the ExxonMobil refinery burning off product – a safety precaution to prevent the refinery from blowing up after experiencing an external power loss, Torrance Fire Capt. Steve Deul said.
The power loss was specific to one area of the refinery, but in order to restart the power, the entire refinery had to be shut down, Duel said.
The Torrance Fire Department is monitoring air quality, and as of 1 a.m. Tuesday, there is no health concern or danger to nearby residents.
As a precaution, Plaza Del Amo between Crenshaw Boulevard and Maple is closed. The streets are expected to reopen in the morning.