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Phillips 66 investigating cause of fire at Billings refinery Friday

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Phillips 66 investigating cause of fire at Billings refinery Friday

Feb 09, 2024 | 6:35 pm ET
By Darrell Ehrlick
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Phillips 66 investigating cause of fire at Billings refinery Friday
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Black smoke rises from a fire at the Phillips-66 refinery in Billings, Montana on the afternoon of Feb. 9, 2024. (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan)

Thick black smoke belched from the Phillips 66 refinery in Billings and flames could be seen from several miles away on Friday afternoon.

The smoke began around 1:50 p.m., and had been extinguished by 2:30, and no injuries were reported by Phillips 66 or other officials. The cause of the “event,” as it was termed by Phillips 66 officials from the company’s headquarters in Houston, was still under investigation.

Phillips 66 sits on the southern edge of downtown Billings, the largest city in the Treasure State. Traffic along Interstate 90, which runs along the refinery’s borders, was not stopped. The refinery also sits close to the Yellowstone River.

Officials confirmed that the Billings Fire Department was called, and residents and businesses reported hearing and seeing fire trucks and sirens. Fire crews could be seen not only trying to extinguish the blaze, but also seen cooling tanks and other equipment around the source, at the southern portion of the refinery.

“There were no injuries and all personnel are accounted for. Phillips 66 has completed air monitoring within the community and there were no findings,” said spokesman Al Ortiz. “The safety of our community, the environment, and our neighbors is of the utmost importance to our company.”