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Fire crews battle blaze at former Philadelphia refinery site

August 23, 2021 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Fire crews battled a blaze at the site of a former refinery in south Philadelphia that was the scene of a huge blaze two years ago.

Police said fire crews were called just after 12:30 p.m. Monday to the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions site, which is now owned by a redevelopment firm. Two hours later, more units were summoned to the scene, police said.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the blaze started inside an unused fuel storage tank being dismantled by welders. No injuries were reported and no evacuation or shelter-in-place orders were issued. More than 100 firefighters were reported at the scene before the blaze was declared under control at about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions shut down following a June 2019 fire and explosion, which injured five people, and declared bankruptcy shortly afterward. The refinery was the largest oil-processing facility on the East Coast and had been in operation for 150 years.

In January of last year, Hilco Redevelopment Partners won an auction with a $240 million bid to acquire the 1,300-acre refinery. City officials said they had an “aggressive” timeline to clean up and redevelop the site into a mixed-use industrial facility.