Emergency Crews Expect Days-Long Battle of Rockford Chemical Plant Fire

Emergency Crews Expect Days-Long Battle of Rockford Chemical Plant Fire

ROCKTON, Ill. (AP) – Emergency crews are expected to continue battling for days massive fires at a northern Illinois chemical plant that exploded into flames.

The Monday morning explosion that sent huge plumes of thick black smoke into the air prompted officials to order an evacuation of residents and business to the south of Chemtool Inc., near Rockton.

Gov. JB Pritzker activated the State Emergency Operation Center to mobilize emergency response personnel and operational facilities to monitor the blaze. Upon notification of the emergency, the State notified authorities in Winnebago, Stephenson and McHenry counties.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) dispatched crews to the area to assist local jurisdictions to expedite assistance and resources. The Illinois State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated and members of the Illinois National Guard and mobile response vehicles were dispatched to the area.

There have been no reports of injuries, and the company says everyone on site is “safe and accounted for.”

The plant manufactures grease products, lubricants and other fluids. Rockton is located near the Wisconsin border, about 95 miles northwest of Chicago.

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