Lines form at Chevron's help center in Richmond following blaze on Monday. They are lining up to file claims against the company.
With thousands of liability claims being filed, Chevron announced it is opening an additional help center in North Richmond to further assist residents affected from the Aug. 6 refinery fire.
From Wednesday through Friday, Chevron will use the community room of the North Richmond Community Heritage Senior Apartments at 1555 Fred Jackson Way as an additional help center to the one at Nevin Community Center at 598 Nevin Ave. in Richmond.
As of this morning, 10,700 people have filed claims, Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie said.
Chevron is accepting claims for any property loss sustained or bodily injuries suffered from the fire, Ritchie said. Atlanta-based insurance services company Crawford and Co. is being hired to handle the claims, she said.
The help center in North Richmond will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Richmond center is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
The last day residents can file a claim at the Richmond center is Saturday, although it will remain open through Aug. 31 to allow people to submit documentation to their claims.
In addition to the help centers, residents can also file claims by phone, 24 hours a day, at (866) 260-7881. The claims line will remain open if Chevron feels people are continuing to file claims, Ritchie said.
Chevron is aiming to reimburse all claims within a month as long as people provide the needed documentation, Ritchie said.
On Aug. 6, Chevron's 4 Crude Unit was engulfed in flames, forcing a shelter-in-place warning for residents of Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo.
The fire filled the skies with black smoke, which resulted in more than 9,000 people visiting nearby hospitals for treatment.
A day after the fire, Chevron released a statement that read, "We intend to compensate our neighbors for medical and property expenses incurred as a result of the incident. We will also see to it that communities will be reimbursed for the costs they face for emergency personnel who responded."
Ritchie said Chevron is not asking anyone filing claims to forgo their right to a lawsuit. Anyone pursuing a lawsuit of the company has two years, by law, to file a suit, she said.