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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Officials at Chevron Corp. say the company has paid about $10 million and begun what they're terming "corrective actions" after a fire last summer at its Richmond refinery.

In a report filed with the Contra Costa County Health Services Department on Monday, Chevron says it has paid the money in connection to nearly 24,000 claims from residents and in compensation to area hospitals and local government agencies in Richmond and in Contra Costa County.

The payments follow a fire in a crude oil unit of the refinery on Aug. 6 that sent a cloud of gas and black smoke over residential areas, prompting thousands of people to seek medical treatment.

Federal investigators have said that Chevron firefighters responding to a small leak at the facility may have accidentally punctured a main pipeline that sparked the massive blaze.

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