Secondary Fires, Evacuations from Chemical Fire at Chemtool Plant in Rockton, Illinois

WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS ACTIVATED FROM LAKE COUNTY

The Chemtool Plant manufactures lubricating greases that are used in many markets and applications. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Police and firefighters from Rockton, Illinois responded about 7:00 a.m. Monday, June 14, 2021 at Chemtool Incorporated, 1165 Prairie Hill Road in Rockton.

Initially residents within a one mile radius of Chemtool were being evacuated to avoid dangerous smoke, chemicals and vapor being released in the fire. The evacuation zone was expanded and may be up to 3 miles or more in some areas.

The wind was from the north this morning near Rockton (conditions at Janesville-Rock County KJVL) and is forecast to be from the north-northwest Monday afternoon, and shift from the northeast beginning about 8:00 p.m. Monday night. Winds are forecast to gust up to 24 MPH Monday afternoon. Winds are forecast to shift from the east by 11:00 p.m. and from the southeast by midnight Monday/Tuesday. During the early morning hours and all day Tuesday the winds in Rockton are forecast to shift from the northeast about 9 MPH and gusting to 15 to 17 MPH.

The fire is expected to be burning for several days.

Rockton Fire Monday morning June 14, 2021 (SOURCE: RadarScope)
Rockton Fire Monday morning June 14, 2021 (SOURCE: RadarScope).

RadarScope is a Professional weather radar available on available for from Base Velocity, LLC. RadarScope is a specialized display utility for weather enthusiasts and meteorologists that allows you view NEXRAD Level 3 and super-resolution radar data along with tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood, special marine and snow squall warnings, and predicted storm tracks issued by the U.S. National Weather Service. It can display the latest reflectivity, velocity, dual-polarization, and other products from any NEXRAD or TDWR radar site in the United States and other parts of the world.

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There were reports of secondary fires and a large amount of ash falling in the area.

A MABAS Division 8 Box Alarm #11 to the 2nd Alarm was activated at 7:10 a.m. Monday.

The Box Alarm was elevated to the 4th Alarm at 7:25 a.m.

A special request for ladder trucks was activated at 7:34 a.m.

The Box Alarm was elevated to the 6th Alarm at 7:48 a.m.

An Interdivisional Box Alarm was activated, requesting the MABAS Division 4 Wildland Task Force from Lake County at 11:15 a.m.

According to the Chemtool company website, grease types include …

Lithium
Lithium Complex
Aluminum Complex
Polyurea
Clay/Bentone
Overbased Calcium Sulfonate (OBCS)

Chemtool statement …

We have confirmed all on site are safe and accounted for. Our concern right now is for the safety of all our employees and the surrounding community. As a precaution, authorities have evacuated residents in a one-mile radius of the site.

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. We will share more details as they are known.

Rockton Chemtool Plant smoke plume from 59 Miles away near Payton Hill Arlington Heights. YouTube Tips ⓘ

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Google Evacuation Notice Rockton ChemTool Chemical Plant Fire
Google Evacuation Notice Rockton ChemTool Chemical Plant Fire.