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Michael Beer, of Richmond, wears a mask during a Chevron town hall meeting at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium in Richmond, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. Monday's fire at the Chevron refinery was the second Level 3 incident in the refinery's No. 4 crude unit since 2007. (Jane Tyska/Staff)

RICHMOND -- With more than 2,200 people having called a phone hotline already, Chevron will open a help center Friday for any residents who wish to file claims related to Monday's refinery fire and resulting smoke in person.

The center will be located at the Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

At least one speaker at a town-hall meeting with Chevron officials Tuesday night suggested the center. Company spokeswoman Heather Kulp announced the plans to open the center Wednesday afternoon in response.

The center will stay open as long as needed, Chevron said.

The company is continuing to take claims by phone 24 hours a day and seven days a week at 866-260-7881. A spokeswoman said Thursday afternoon that the company had taken at least 2,200 calls at that number.

Chevron officials also said that some people in the community have reported receiving calls from individuals offering to help them make claims. The company has not called anyone with such an offer, according to a statement, and those people are not Chevron representatives.

Richmond police also passed along a warning Thursday that others were handing out fake claim forms to residents in an attempted scam.


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Company officials have previously said that the company would pay any legitimate health costs or property loss caused by the fire. A spokeswoman Wednesday also noted that businesses that were forced to close early or workers who could not go to their jobs might be eligible for compensation.

Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.