"It was a real loud explosion, like boom, scary. I thought I was dead."
As a big cloud of black smoke filled the sky in Pascagoula, Chevron workers started to run for safety.
"It was a big flame, a big flame," one Chevron employee said. "It just got bigger and bigger, and it started making noise and we took off running."
Chevron officials haven't confirmed any explosion, and it's too early to know what sparked the huge fire.
Chevron evacuated all non essential personnel, as did nearby First Chemical.
As the smoke got thicker family and friends started showing up outside Chevron to find out about loved ones. Many people feared the worst. Others desperately dialed cell phones trying to track down Chevron workers.
Industrial Road, leading to the refinery, was closed for a time and traffic there and on Highway 90 was jammed in both directions.
As bad as it may have looked, most everyone left counting their blessings.
"I am so glad I am alive right now. I was scared for my life."