A fire at an oil refinery in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas killed at least one person and injured three, The Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing Iranian state media.

A furnace at the refinery caught fire as it was being repaired at about 11 a.m. local time, state TV reported. A 38-year-old man was killed and the three people injured were taken to hospital, where they are receiving treatment. One of the three is said to be in critical condition.

In July, a fire at the same refinery injured eight firefighters after two oil tanks in a tank farm caught fire.

Similar fires have been reported from time to time at the port, which is located at the mouth of strategic Strait of Hormuz, as well as at other oil facilities in Iran.

The port is one of Iran's most important sites for imports and exports and has also been at the center of disputes between Iran and the United States in recent years.

The US announced this past July it would be beefing up its use of fighter jets around the strategic Strait of Hormuz to protect ships from Iranian seizures.

The US decided to beef up its presence in the region after Iran tried to seize two oil tankers near the strait, opening fire on one of them.

The Islamic Republic has threatened more than once to close the Strait of Hormuz, with the United States warning Iran in response that any attempt to close the strait would be viewed as a "red line" -- grounds for US military action.