Texas lightning strikes blamed for refinery transformer fire, oil storage tank blaze

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HOUSTON — Lightning has been blamed for a refinery fire near Houston and an oil tank blaze along the Gulf of Mexico as storms cut power and flooded some roads.

Emergency responders say nobody was hurt in either fire Thursday.

CenterPoint Energy reported more than 15,000 customers in the Houston area without electricity amid storms that could linger through Friday.

Rain also soaked the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Electric provider Oncor (ON'-kor) reported about 2,800 North Texas customers without power Thursday.

Lightning struck an electrical transformer at a Valero refinery in Texas City. Fire department officials say there's no danger to residents. Authorities say lightning caused an oil storage tank fire near Crystal Beach. Both blazes were being allowed to burn themselves out.

Scattered street flooding was reporting in Houston and Galveston.

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