Massive Chemical Fire at Chemtool Plant Prompts Evacuations, National Guard Activated

A massive chemical fire erupted Monday at a plant in Rockton, Illinois, prompting authorities to order residents to evacuate and Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) to activate the National Guard.

NBC Chicago reports:

The fire, which forced the evacuation of residents within a two mile radius of the Chemtool lubricant manufacturing facility in Rockton, could potentially burn for days, according to officials. Pritzker announced Monday that personnel from a slew of state agencies and departments, including the Illinois Emergency Management Association, State Police, the Illinois National Guard and the Department of Public Health, have been activated and are participating in the response to the fire. […] According to officials, the fire broke out just before 7 a.m. Chemtool, according to state officials, is the largest manufacturer of grease in the United States.

“I am monitoring this situation closely, and will make all resources available to the surrounding communities as we work to keep people safe,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Teams from multiple state agencies are on the ground and coordinating closely with local authorities, and we will continue to make additional information available as soon as we have it.”

Local reporters shared shocking video footage of the blaze, which sent thick black smoke billowing into the sky:

“We are doing air quality analysis in the area and at this point in time, there is no danger to air quality at ground level,” Rockton Fire Protection District Chief Kirk Wilson said in a statement. “Just as a precautionary measure, we decided that it was in the best interest of community safety that we evacuated the area.”

This story is developing. Check Breitbart News for updates. 



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