These photos were sent by Homer Waits.  The fire was at #11 Cracking Coil, right next to the Cat Cracker.  This fire occurred in 1946 or 1947, Homer was not sure.  This photo is taken from in front of Bungalow 123 on "Bird Cage Row."
Another view of the same fire.
The water was sprayed on the steel structure to protect it, not to try and put out the fire.  The crude feed to the unit had been cut off and the remaining product was allowed to burn off.  After the fire, repairs were made to a split furnace tube, probably the cause of the fire, and the unit was put back on line.
Looks to me like everyone is interested in the fire.  The men in white pants and shirts are from # 3 Lab which was across the street from the fire.  The white pants and shirts were more or less the Lab workers uniform of the time.  Note the white pants and shirts are not wearing hard hats.  Men out in the refinery wore hard hats. The guys in the khaki pants are wearing hard hats.  A white shirt and khaki pants was the uniform of the day for refinery workers.  My Dad wore khaki pants and a white shirt and had a hard hat in his pick up truck, which he wore when he got out of the truck.  I am sure that according to Lago's Safety Rules all the men should have been wearing hard hats.  It is also questionable as to weather or not they should have been that close to the fire.