Details about what started the fire weren't immediately available.
"The whole sky lit up yellow", Antonio Tindle told 6 ABC Action News. "The third explosion rocked my truck".
"If we extinguish it now, whatever is blowing out of that main, blows right into the atmosphere", Philadelphia deputy fire commissioner Craig Murphy said.
Authorities in Philadelphia earlier had urged residents near the refinery, in south Philadelphia, to shelter in place until notified otherwise. Early reports gave the location as 31st Street and Passyunk Avenue, not far from the city's sports complex. The company now runs the refinery in partnership with Sunoco. "Rattled the house, scary stuff", Armand DiVite tweeted.
Gasoline prices in the Northeast could rise over the next few weeks as a result of the explosion, but an increase isn't likely to last long, said Claudio Galimberti, a refining analyst at S&P Global Platts. Phil Morris posted that that blast woke him up in West Deptford. Three explosions, felt miles away, went off as the fire worked its way through the tangle of pipes carrying fuel across the complex, Corley said.
City health officials said in the afternoon that there were no findings suggesting any dangers to the surrounding community, said Philadelphia Department of Public Health spokesman James Garrow in a statement.
Riot police clash with protesters in Georgia over visit of Russian official
In 2008, a conflict broke out between Georgia and Russian Federation over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia . Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the safety of Gavrilov and other members of the Russian delegation had been endangered.
Messages seeking comment from the company have not been returned.
No injuries have been announced and an investigation into what caused the fire has officially begun according to local TV news station ABC6. The extent of the damage was unknown, but similar fires have shut refineries for months or years.
There has been a series of explosions on site.
Earlier, a Philadelphia Fire Department official had said the fire started in a Value-Added Tax of butane.
Plant and city firefighters were cooling down nearby tanks to prevent Friday's fire from spreading.
Flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia, Friday, June 21, 2019.