A massive chemical fire broke out Monday morning at the Chemtool Inc. plant in Rockton, Illinois, in Winnebago County, near the Wisconsin border. The plant manufactures grease products, lubricants and other fluids. Salvation Army staff and volunteers were responding. The city fire department ordered a mandatory evacuation for all residents and businesses in a one-mile radius of the plant even if the blaze don’t posed for the moment the community at risk. Those within the evacuation zone map, head to Rockton Middle School and Roscoe Middle School, according to the Village of Rockton and the Rockton Police Department. Authorities decided to let the fire burn itself out to avoid environmental issues. No water was used. Rockton Fire Chief said Chemtool fire will burn for days. The 70 employees at the factory were able to get out safely. One firefighter was injured.
Residents of Rockton reported hearing a series of explosions. The fire in Rockton has caused smoke to cover the eastern third of Ogle County. The County Emergency Operations Center was actively tracking the smoke plume and wind direction. Doctors are recommending that people around the Rockford Region wear a mask all day today and possibly tomorrow. The Lubrizol Corporation, which owns the facility, released a statement saying all employees were safe and accounted for. „We do not yet know what caused this incident, but we will be working with local authorities and with our own risk management team to determine what happened and identify any corrective actions,” it said.