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Fire strikes plagued petroleum refinery

COLUMBUS — “Crews were called to the scene before 7 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the plant’s control room had shut down operations, and the fire did not escape its initial area, Fowler said.

Fifth Avenue was closed at and beyond Yearling and Stelzer roads until midmorning as firefighters allowed the product remaining in one of the refinery’s lines to burn off, Fowler said.

Hazardous-materials crews responded to ensure that no oil escaped the property, Fowler said.

Complaints of ‘rotten egg’ and ‘burned rubber’ odors have plagued the Heartland plant since it opened in 2009. The plant cleans used motor oil so that it can be reused.

Last year, the state tried to shut down the plant after receiving hundreds of complaints, including 200 incidents of state workers saying that chemical leaks had made them sick.”

— Holly Zachariah, Columbus Dispatch

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