Large Flame Erupts Over Torrance Refinery, Prompting Road Closure 

An explosion in 2015 at Exxon Mobil's refinery in Torrance prompted neighbors to call for the facility's permanent closure. (Credit: KTLA)

An explosion in 2015 at Exxon Mobil's refinery in Torrance prompted neighbors to call for the facility's permanent closure. (Credit: KTLA)

A large flame of burning gas erupted over a refinery in Torrance on Sunday, prompting authorities to close a stretch of Del Amo Boulevard for about two hours.

Torrance firefighters were dispatched to the former Exxon Mobil refinery at 7:12 a.m., Captain Bob Millea said. A power outage in the northern part of the city had caused issues for some of the units at the plant, Millea said, prompting what he called an “unplanned flaring event.”

To stabilize its systems, the plant sent hydrocarbon products to the flare, causing a large flame to burst over the plant’s metal smoke stacks — similar to the way a giant lighter might function, Millea said.

Fire officials shut down Del Amo Boulevard between Maple Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard in both directions until systems were declared stable at about 9:20 a.m., Millea said.

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