Dashcam video from Chemtool fire released

Local News

ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) – Rockton’s Fire Chief publicly talked about the Chemtool explosion for first time since the fire was put out.

Chief Kirk Wilson addressed it in a presentation at the Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting.

For the first-time Chief Wilson shared his dash cam video from the day of the fire.

The video shows his drive to the fire, and an up-close look as he arrived at burning plant.

Chief Wilson described what he was thinking when he got on scene, “I’ve been doing this for 37 years. I’ve seen enough. But, this was one where I was like – it was surreal.  It really was.”

The Rockton Fire Department is currently tabulating the costs of equipment lost and damaged in fighting the fire.  Chief Wilson expects the cost to be near $50,000.  He said they will send a bill to Chemtool to replace the damaged and lost equipment.

Two companies are still on scene cleaning the remanence of the Chemtool building. They are HEPACO Environmental and Clean Harbors. The chief also added that water in the neighboring Rock River is still regularly being tested for any containments.

As part of the presentation Chief Wilson said the response to the fire was the largest Mutual Aid Box Alarm System deployment in Illinois history.  They called in resources from 167 fire departments and more than 350 firefighters battled the flames.

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