The Exxon Plant Near My House Caught Fire

Air Quality Exxon Plant

Published on February 13th, 2020 | by Johnna Crider

February 13th, 2020 by  

The Exxon plant here in Baton Rouge has caught fire. Even though officials say there wasn’t an explosion, several witnesses reported hearing one. I also heard what seemed like an explosion — I live just 5 miles away. Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman Curt Monte said that there was no explosion, but that’s a bit odd since, as just noted, I heard something and there have been multiple reports on both Twitter and Facebook by people who heard a loud explosion.

“ExxonMobil volunteer fire team members have contained a fire at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery. There are no injuries. The fire was contained to the area where it occurred,” said Jeremy Eikenberry, who is a spokesperson for ExxonMobil, to Newsweek.

“ExxonMobil is actively monitoring the facility fence line and surrounding areas of the North Baton Rouge community. Currently, all readings are non-detect. We will continue to conduct air monitoring as a precaution. We apologize for any inconvenience and concern this incident may have caused. We will continue to keep you updated with information as it becomes available. The safety of our workforce and community is ExxonMobil’s highest priority.”

Did I mention that this is around 5 miles from my apartment? In a tweet below, Ruthy Munoz shares another tweet by an employee who says that this was the “first time my life was on the line in this plant.”

Formally known as Standard Oil, ExxonMobil has been in Baton Rouge since 1909, and the plant is more than just an oil refinery — it’ s a chemical plant as well that works with polyolefins and plastics. It’s one of the major employers in our area, with around 7,000 employees as of 2018. In a tweet, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge says that there are no reported injuries and all readings are non-detect.

Air Quality?

This is actually kind of terrifying. The Baton Rouge Fire Department told KATCTV2 that the air quality samples in the morning were coming back undetectable.

The need for clean energy is vital. I’m not just saying that because I was about to be in a deep, good sleep that got interrupted by a “not-an-explosion.” A problem is the denial by our leaders and their decision to turn the other cheek instead of trying to create viable solutions. This shows that they really don’t care about those who are affected.


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About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter