RICHMOND (CBS SF) — Bay Area residents who were planning to file a liability claim against Chevron related to the oil company’s refinery fire Monday may do so in person at an office in Richmond starting Friday, a company spokesman said.

Located in the Nevin Community Center at 598 Nevin Ave., the office would be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The in-person filing location offers an alternative to the 24-hour claims hot line Chevron established to help local residents file claims related to the fire. The hot line number is (866) 260-7881.

The insurance services company, Crawford and Company, is handling the claims.

About 950 area residents went to local hospitals complaining of a range of respiratory illnesses, headaches, eye irritation and other symptoms sparked by the thick smoke and soot from the 3-alarm refinery fire, according to Contra Costa County Health Services officials.

Late Wednesday, at least 1,000 fire-related claims had been filed, according to Sam Singer, a spokesman for Chevron.

Anyone who had incurred health care costs, property damage, or lost earnings as a result of the fire was encouraged to call the hot line or visit the claims office.

Chevron officials warned residents on Friday to be aware of scammers who have reportedly called community members about filing claims.

Those who call the claim hot line should be prepared to answer a series of questions about their claim.

“Chevron will strive to pay appropriate and reasonable claims, including out-of-pocket medical and property-damage expenses,” a company statement reads.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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