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CLICK HERE to view photos showing a very large vapor cloud rising above the Chevron Richmond Refinery. In the first five photos the vapor cloud is whitish in color but after the cloud is ignited dark black smoke is visible. The photos should be credited to Fototaker.net and were taken from Pier 39 in San Francisco located about nine miles across the bay from the Chevron Richmond Refinery. (Fototaker.net)
RICHMOND -- Chevron has announced plans to open a temporary new center to take claims related to its Aug. 6 refinery fire, and said it will soon stop taking claims at another center.

A new center in North Richmond will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Wednesday through Friday only, in the community room at the North Richmond Community Heritage Senior Apartments at 1555 Fred Jackson Way.

The oil giant also announced that its claims office at the Nevin Community Center at 598 Nevin Ave. will only take new claims through Saturday. The Nevin claims office will remain open until Aug. 31 for anyone who needs to turn in documentation on an already-filed claim.

The number of people filing claims at the Nevin center has "significantly dropped," according to Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie. If there is high demand at the new North Richmond center, it may be kept open beyond this week, she added.

The company will continue staffing a 24-hour phone line to take claims at 866-260-7881.

The company announced the day after the fire that it would pay medical expenses and reimburse property damage related to the blaze and resulting smoke that spread over cities throughout the East Bay. Since then, about 10,700 people have filed claims, Ritchie said.

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



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