Remembering Those Who Fell

We pay tribute to those brothers and sisters who never made it home

Jerry Canell - 1955

Jerry was working on top of a fuel blending tank at the Shell* refinery. An inner heating coil developed a leak, allowing hot steam condensate to mix with the asphalt within the tank. The rapid heating caused the tank wall to rupture, allowing its contents to begin boiling out. Jerry jumped from the tank roof, hitting his head as he landed, resulting in his death.



Ed Stocker - 1979                      Earl Staneck - 1979


Ed and Earl were working for PM Northwest at the Shell* refinery. As they were pulling a blind, gases were released and ignited by a nearby heater, killing both men.



Bob Owings - 1988

While working for Texaco*, Bob fell from a ladder, injuring his leg. During his recuperation, a blood clot formed, broke loose, and made its way to Bob's heart.







Jeff Heidingsfelder - 1992

Jeff was working for PM Northwest at the BP refinery in Ferndale, giving signals to a crane operator below. Below Jeff were two coworkers pulling a blind. As the blind was pulled, gases were released and ignited by a nearby heater. A huge fireball erupted. As the fireball moved up the tower, Jeff was killed.





Tracy Giles - 1996

Employed by Texaco*, Tracy was working with coworkers to prepare an exchanger for maintenance. While attempting to steam out the exchanger, a plug formed, creating a pressure build up. As Tracy was making her way down scaffolding, the pressure blew the exchanger cover off, striking Tracy in the head and killing her instantly.





Equilon* Coker Tragedy - 1998


Wayne Dowe                                        Jim Berlin


Warren "Woody" Fry                                  Ted Cade

Jim, Ted, Warren (Woody), and Wayne were working on the Coker unit at the Equilon* refinery. The unit was in an upset due to a total power failure at the refinery. As the members, along with two other coworkers, were unheading a coke drum, a pocket of high temperature hydrocarbon broke free. Upon contact with air, the hydrocarbon self-ignited, sending a giant fireball up the structure. All six people on the structure were killed.

As a way to remember the tragic events related to the Coker Fire, Brother Paul Demmon put together a great document on what really happened, primarily from the memories of those involved.

Never Forget


Tesoro Northwest Heater Fire - 2010


Dan Aldridge                                      Matt Bowen


Matt Gumbel                                      Darrin Hoines


    Kathryn Powell                                Donna Van Dreumel


At 12:30 a.m. on April 2, while personnel were performing post-maintenance heat exchanger restart operations, a heat exchanger on an adjacent bank catastrophically and violently ruptured. The pressure-containing shell of the heat exchanger burst at its weld seams, expelling a large volume of very hot hydrogen and naphtha, which spontaneously ignited upon contact with the surrounding air. The ensuing explosion was so violent that many in Anacortes felt the shock wave across Fidalgo Bay. A giant fireball lit up the sky above the refinery, and a plume of black smoke was pushed toward the town by a southeast wind. It took about 90 minutes to put the fire out.

All seven workers persished.



* Refinery ownership history is as follows:

Texaco - Opened in 1957. Became Equilon in 1999 through a partnership with Shell. Shell bought out Texaco's interest and the site became wholly owned by Shell in 2002.

Shell - Opened in 1955. Regulations forced the sale of this refinery in 1999 due to the Shell/Texaco partnership. Tesoro became the owner in 1999.