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Fire Breaks Out In Aliso Canyon Gas Facility Outbuilding

PORTER RANCH ( — Firefighters are mopping up Thursday after a fire broke out overnight at the Southern California Gas Co. facility where wells leaked methane for months.

Los Angeles City firefighters were called out at 1:38 a.m. Thursday to the Aliso Canyon facility in Porter Ranch, where there were reports of two 55-gallon oil drums burning.

Fire officials later said the fire had started in a large trash container storing oily rags that had been used to clean tools of combustible oil. Firefighters were concerned the flames would spread to the dry brush in the hills above Porter Ranch.

No evacuations were ordered.

The incident was later turned over to Los Angeles County Fire, which dispatched more engines and a hazmat unit.

"At approximately 1:30 a.m. this morning a small fire was reported at our Aliso Canyon facility. The fire department arrived within about 10 minutes and extinguished the fire without incident. There were no injuries or damage to the property and at no time was there any risk to the public," a SoCal Gas official said in a statement.

Thursday's early-morning fire is the latest incident in a string of issues involving the Porter Ranch facility.

Since SoCalGas finally plugged the wells that leaked gas for months and forced hundreds of residents out of their homes, the facility has been the focus of a permanent closure campaign, mentioned in the threat of blackouts and blamed for additional leaks that were later linked to other companies.

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