Local businesses disrupted by evacuation order after Chemtool fire in Rockton

Local News

ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO)- With parts of Rockton still under an evacuation order as the Chemtool fire continues into it’s third day, some local restaurants, like Dairyhaus, have made the decision to remain closed until further notice.

“I’m gonna just listen to what the experts continue to say, and we’re going to move when we should move I guess,” said Dairyhaus co-owner Brent Murray. “It sucks, it sucks to have to close your business after being closed for a year and a half, and figure that kind of stuff out but ultimately, it’s just ice cream, and we’ll get through, and we’ll reopen.”

Other businesses are welcoming customers once again. Mark’s Pizza reopened Wednesday afternoon, after being closed Tuesday as employees picked up fallen debris.

“I didn’t think it was worth being open for business,” said restaurant manager Danielle Brown. “So we just decided to shut down for the day, give it another day, do some cleaning inside and outside, and for the safety for our customers having to come so close.”

But Brown thinks fallout from the blaze is convincing customers to stay away.

“There’s still that effective going on with the one-mile radius, to wear a mask or not wear a mask, so it’s definitely had an impact on the business,” she said.

Another factor that could be hurting business, according to Brown, is a loss of orders from Chemtool employees. Some of her regular customers are plant workers.

“Mostly it’s delivery. I’m in that building two, three times a week taking food inside the building and going through security there, and food for the security guards as well,” Brown said. “It’s definitely going to be a change not having that Chemtool number pop-up.”

The Chemtool plant employs around 200 local workers.

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