A fire at a 150-year-old refinery complex in Philadelphia turned the early morning sky a bright orange and yellow and awakened startled residents with explosions that shook homes Friday. It jolted people from their sleep and prompted a shelter-in-place. Residents in South Jersey and Delaware County, Pennsylvania reported feeling the explosion.
Some residents said the blast knocked art off of their walls, reported NBC Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy says the fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex is contained but not under control. Smaller explosions ignited as the fire reached other fuel pipes across the complex.
Refinery employees were working at the time of the explosion but were far enough away from the initial explosion to escape unharmed.
City health officials said there is no immediate danger to the surrounding community, and said there is no need to evacuate or shelter in place. Though the area is heavily populated, no evacuation orders were issued.
Firefighters were still battling the blaze as of 7 a.m.
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One person wrote on Twitter that they were on I-95 when fire broke out and "could feel the heat right through the car". "Could feel the heat right through the auto", the person tweeted.
Photos and videos published on social media show the facility engulfed by a massive fireball - reported as a 3-alarm fire by local reports.
The refinery is the largest and oldest on the East Coast of the USA; there has been a plant on the site since 1870.
The dramatic scene at Philadelphia Energy Solutions on Friday was filmed by numerous people who witnessed the thunderous explosion and the resulting plumes of fire that erupted across the skyline.