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Summer Driving Gets Pricier Start as Refinery Burns

  • Prices seen rising in eastern U.S. after Philadelphia fire
  • Crews worked Saturday to contain ‘very small’ fire at plant
Flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia on June 21.

Flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia on June 21.

Photographer: Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Corrected

A fire at the largest refinery on the U.S. East Coast sent gasoline prices soaring, threatening to raise pump prices from Delaware to Maine just as American drivers get set to head off on vacation.

Futures jumped 3.9%, the most in more than three months after an explosion and fire Friday at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery. Pump prices are likely to rise as the surge filters down to retail stations, reversing a more than 20-cent drop from early May that took the nationwide average down to $2.67 a gallon.