LIMA — A larger than normal flare at the Husky Lima Refinery had members of the public in a near panic Sunday evening.
Social media was ablaze with photos and speculation about a large fire at the refinery with reports of people seeing it from miles away.
“I can see the flame from Lima Refinery from Grubb Road,” Derek George posted on his personal Facebook page. “Doesn’t look good.”
According to a dispatcher at the Shawnee Township Police Department, they received about a half a dozen concerned calls but did not dispatch any of their fire personnel.
The police and fire department is adjacent to the Husky property and a dispatcher said he could see the increased flare on their closed circuit cameras.
The Lima Fire Department did also send crews out that way to check on conditions at the refinery.
The Shawnee Township dispatcher said that they were told by Husky workers that the larger flare was because they were shutting down an operation and the remainder of the product was allowed to burn off through the burn stacks.
As a result, the flare appeared much larger than normal and some even reported hearing an explosion.
“There was no large fireball, no explosion,” according to Calgary, Alberta-based Husky Energy Spokesman Mel Duvall, who was contacted by telephone Sunday night regarding the incident. “We had a unit trip and that resulted in us having a larger flare than usual. We’re working to bring it back online.”
When asked if it was the isocracker that exploded in 2015, Duvall declined to share further details.
“We don’t like to share what unit it is because that’s competitive information,” Duvall said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.