North

Fire breaks out at Norman Wells Imperial Oil plant

The company confirmed it was responding to a fire at the facility in the Northwest Territories in a post to a community Facebook group Friday night.

Company says fire is now extinguished, posed ‘no risk to the community’

Black smoke from the flare stack of the Imperial Oil processing facility could be seen from the town of Norman Wells, N.W.T., on Friday evening. (Roger Odgaard/Facebook)

A fire at the Imperial Oil plant in Norman Wells, N.W.T., has been extinguished, the company says.

Imperial Oil confirmed it was responding to a fire at the facility in a post to a community Facebook group Friday night.

"All personnel have been accounted for and there are no injuries," the statement read. "There is no risk to the community.

"Our main concern is for the safety of our employees, our contractors and our neighbours."

Lisa Schmidt, a spokesperson for Imperial Oil, confirmed Saturday morning that the fire was extinguished overnight. The cause is still unknown.

"We have notified regulatory authorities and the local community," she wrote in an email to CBC News.

Frank Pope, the mayor of Norman Wells, said he was receiving a briefing from the company Saturday morning.

The Imperial Oil central processing facility in Norman Wells, N.W.T. The plant resumed operations in 2018 after a two-year hiatus. (File Photo)

Residents reported the sound of an explosion from the direction of the plant's central processing facility at about 6 p.m. Friday.

Dark smoke could be seen coming from the location of the Esso plant's flare stack throughout the night, and evacuation alarms could be heard coming from the plant.

As of 7 a.m., residents were still reporting the sounds of sirens on local Facebook pages.

Imperial Oil restarted production at the Norman Wells plant in 2018, after concerns over the stability of the pipeline that carries crude oil south forced a two-year hiatus.

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