Contra Costa County health officials are revising earlier statements that no one had been hospitalized for health problems related to the Chevron refinery fire.

The fire at Chevron's Richmond oil refinery sent a plume of smoke into the air. (Aarti Shahani)

Health officials had said as late as yesterday that while thousands of people have been seen in local emergency rooms, none were hospitalized.

Now, Contra Costa County’s Public Health Director, Wendel Brunner, says up to three people may have been admitted to Kaiser’s Richmond Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Oakland with fire-related ailments.

“We’re following up on new information from several of the hospitals,” Brunner said Tuesday. “[They] indicate that two or three people who were admitted to the hospital may well have been admitted as a direct result of smoke exposure.”

Officials with Kaiser Permanente report one person was admitted to Richmond Medical Center with possible fire-related health problems on August 9th. That patient is still at the hospital, in stable condition. Children’s Hospital has yet to return a call for comment.

So far more than 9,000 people have sought medical care for eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as headaches, related to last week’s blaze.


Mina Kim

Mina Kim is evening anchor and reporter for KQED News and Friday host of Forum. Mina got hooked on public radio in 2004, during a brief fellowship with KQED's Pacific Time, which is no longer in production. She became KQED's general assignment reporter in 2010, health reporter for The California Report in 2012, and KQED News' anchor a year later. She was named Friday Forum host in 2014.

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