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Massive 4-alarm fire at Port of Benicia could continue to burn through weekend, firefighters say

BENICIA, Calif. (KGO) — A massive four-alarm fire was still burning at the Port of Benicia Saturday where a dock was fully engulfed. Thick black smoke filled the air as fire engines and fire boats attacked the inferno from all sides.

Fire crews from across Solano County raced to the scene off Bayshore Road. The fire began just before noon, five hours later it was still burning. ABC7 News cameras captured the moment parts of the dock collapsed into the water.

At a 4:30p.m. press conference, an official said that “no injuries have been reported.”

Ships anchored at the Port were moved away for safety into the Carquinez Straights, including an oil tanker.

“This is crazy, it’s scary because they offload gas and oil here,” said Tony Ciarrochi from Benicia.

Longshoreman working at the port were told to leave.

“I’m feeling panicky because we can’t get down there, some of our coworkers are still in there, it’s a toxic situation right now,” said Longshoreman Gail Day.

No one was hurt in the fire but Benicia fire officials were concerned about hazardous materials on the pier like creosote, which could harm the environment.

Fire officials believe the fire could burn for 24 hours at least. A cause is still under investigation.

The fire was burning adjacent to a historic park where a wedding was scheduled Saturday but the area was ordered evacuated. The wedding party was looking for a backup plan.

“We’re sending all the guests to another location to regroup and see if we can hold the wedding at a park, a house or anywhere we can,” said photographer David Hall.

No shelter-in-place order was issued for nearby residents. But health officials in Contra Costa County advised the public to limit outdoor activities.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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