UPDATE: Mandatory Evacuation Lifted in Chemical Release and Fire Reported at Garyville Petroleum Refinery

Photo courtesy Marathon Petroleum

UPDATE – 8/26/2023

The evacuation order has been lifted and residents within the two-mile radius of the Marathon Petroleum refinery in St. John the Baptist Parish has been lifted.

“While much of the fire has been extinguished, firefighters continue fire suppression activities to address flare-ups. Intermittent smoke may be seen from the facility during this time. Fire suppression will continue until firefighting professionals are confident there is no risk of additional fire,” the company said in an update Saturday morning. Air quality monitoring is is also continuing.

Marathon has set up a 24-hour hotline for any community member who has a claim related to the fire. That number is (866) 601-5880.


Emergency responders are on the scene of a large fire and chemical release at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in St. John the Baptist Parish. According to parish officials, there was a release of naptha, a flammable liquid hydrocarbon found in crude oil. The fire started in a storage tank at the refinery, and so far is contained to refinery grounds.

St. John Parish President Jaclyn Hotard issued an emergency declaration and a mandatory evacuation order for all parish residents within two miles of the refinery. Shelters are open at the East St. John Preparatory Academy Gym at 400 Ory Drive in LaPlace and at West St. John High School at 480 Hwy 3127. Anyone who needs transportation call call 985-652-2222 or 985-652-6338.

According to Marathon, air monitoring has been deployed in Garyville, but so far, no off-site impacts have been made.

“As always, our main priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and contractors, our neighbors, within our surrounding community, first responders, and to limit environmental impact. And investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the release.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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