Lightning strikes blamed for refinery, tank fires in Texas

The Associated Press

Lightning strikes have been blamed for a refinery fire near Houston and an oil storage tank blaze along the Gulf of Mexico.

HOUSTON (AP) — Lightning strikes have been blamed for a refinery fire near Houston and an oil storage tank blaze along the Gulf of Mexico.

Emergency responders say nobody was hurt in either fire Thursday as storms rolled through parts of Texas.

CenterPoint Energy reported about 14,000 customers in the Houston area without electricity amid storms that could linger through Friday. Rain also soaked the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Electric provider Oncor (ON'-kor) reported about 4,000 customers lost power Thursday.

Lightning struck an electrical transformer at a Valero refinery in Texas City. Fire department officials say there's no danger to residents and the blaze would be allowed to burn itself out.

Authorities say lightning caused an oil storage tank fire near Crystal Beach. Flames and black smoke could be seen across Bolivar (BAHL'-uh-vur) Peninsula.

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