Major Fire, Heavy Smoke with Gas Explosions at River Valley Recycling, Grinnel Rd, Kankakee

VIDEO: Flames showing about 60 feet into the air and an explosion heard at 1:25 (elapsed time) as witnesses a block away report feeling the heat from the fire.

Kankakee firefighters battled a 3-11 alarm fire that was elevated to an interdivisional Box Alarm with MABAS Division 19 Task Force at the River Valley Recycling at 1244 West Grinnell Road, Kankakee, IL. Firefighters reported that wind appeared to be pushing the fire toward the east, while exposure buildings were being protected. Several aerial ladders were overhead near the fire building.

Explosions were reported at the fire. Firefighters were unable to access the shutoff valve to the natural gas supply because of fire involvement.


Firefighters from Aroma Park, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Frankfort, Grant Park, Limestone, Peotone, Wilmington and other communities assisted Kankakee Fire Department.

VIDEO: Fire at River Valley Recycling viewed from the north side of the building with explosions heard (Part 7 of 7 from youtube.com/pcar00).

Firefighters were reporting some yellow smoke coming out of the fire building and were inquiring about possible hazardous material in the fire building.

Exposure buildings are being guarded. Workers in exposure buildings were moving flammable materials away from the direction of the fire building.

An Interdivisional Box Alarm was requested for Division 19 to respond with a task force.

The fire reportedly started about 1:30 p.m. Friday during a roof improvement project at River Valley Recycling on Grinnell Road in Kankakee. The fire extended quickly through four businesses in a large, single-story building with a bow string truss roof.

At about 3:37 p.m. Friday, firefighters reported a wall collapse at the front of the building.

At about 4:20 p.m. the fire was diminishing and Nicor workers were digging underground to shut of the main gas line to the building. Some minor explosions still occurred after 4:20 p.m.

After the fire, heavy equipment was brought in to knock down unstable structures.

Illinois Route 50 is closed at Brookmont Boulevard and Greenwood Avenue.

Early photos The Daily Journal Kankakee: Firefighters battle blaze at River Valley Recycling …


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