Oil refinery fire in Anacortes will have a reaching impact - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oil refinery fire in Anacortes will have a reaching impact

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ANACORTES, Wash. -- Four workers are dead and three are in critical condition after an explosion at the Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes. In the early morning hours of Friday flames seared through the night sky.

"The fire was contained at about 2:00 a.m. It has been extinguished and the units have been shut down and isolated. Other major parts of the refinery remain in operation, but at reduced rates," said Lynn Westfall, VP External Affairs, Anacortes refinery.

They're still unsure what caused the blaze at Tesoro, which refines up to 120,000 barrels of crude oil a day. What we do know is this will have an impact on the entire state.

"It's certainly going to have a huge impact on our system and certainly on our distributors who have contracts with Tesoro, I would imagine it's going to be a few days before we can really see what the complete impact is going to be," said Lea Wilson, executive director, Washington Oil Marketers Association.

Fuel makes it's way to Central Washington several ways, by being barged up the Columbia River and through several pipelines coming from the East. If one source goes down it will effect the entire industry. One local distributor predicts a spike in fuel prices within the next three to five days, by how much is still uncertain and depends on how long production is slowed.

"We have not yet been able to enter the area to begin our investigation, but we're expecting to do so by the end of the day," said Westfall.

The three who died Friday at the scene were 31-year-old Matthew C. Bowen of Arlington; 43-year-old Darrin J. Hoines of Ferndale; and 50-year-old Daniel J. Aldridge of Anacortes. 

Four other victims were taken to Harborview Medical Center, including a 29-year-old woman who died of her burns at the hospital. Her name has not been released.