TORRANCE ( — Two flares lighted up the night sky Wednesday in Torrance.

The fireballs, visible for miles, came from ExxonMobil’s refinery.

The refinery is in the 3700 block of West 190th Street.

KCAL9’s Peter Daut reported from the scene.

Torrance police shut down a major stretch of Del Amo Boulevard between Maple Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard because of this large, unplanned flare event.

Bells were ringing in the area to alert drivers to the road closures.

Police say the burn-off is producing a large amount of heat, and they’re also concerned about the smoke not dissipating because of the thick marine layer.

The flares, some on social media called them fireballs, were first spotted around 6 p.m

Southern California Edison confirms a mylar balloon hit a transmission line and caused a voltage issue. The interruption in power caused the flare to burn larger than normal, officials said.

The spectacle stirred up residents already on edge after a massive  explosion at the refinery in February 2015. During that incident, residents had to deal with ash, concerns over poor air quality and a surge in gas prices.

ExxonMobil released a statement saying there is no major impact to the community or operation of the refinery.


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