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 KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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