The fire started in a vacuum tower of the Northern Tier Energy refinery at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Company spokesman Gary Hanson tells Minnesota Public Radio News the unit was not in service and was undergoing maintenance.
Hanson says non-essential personnel were evacuated as a precaution. He says local firefighters were standing by, but refinery personnel were able to put out the fire.
Hanson says chemicals used in cleaning may have started the fire.
The company’s St. Paul Park facility refines crude oil to gasoline and diesel, which is distributed mostly to SuperAmerica gas stations in the Midwest.