SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has activated the State Emergency Center and deployed the Illinois National Guard to respond to a massive chemical plant fire in Rockton on Monday.
“I am monitoring this situation closely and will make all resources available to the surrounding communities as we work to keep people safe,” said Pritzker. “Teams from multiple state agencies are on the ground and coordinating closely with local authorities and we will continue to make additional information available as soon we have it. To those impacted, please listen to guidance from emergency officials and know that the state of Illinois is doing everything possible to protect you and your loved ones.”
Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson said about 150 residents and businesses within a one mile radius of Chemtool were “strongly suggested” to evacuate as a precaution, due to potentially hazardous chemicals stored at the facility.
Residents are encouraged to seek shelter at Roscoe Middle School, 6121 Elevator Road in Roscoe, and wear masks or face masks to prevent the inhalation of soot.
According to Chemtool, the fire began around 7 a.m. at it’s location at 1165 Prairie Hill Road in Rockton.
The company manufactures fluids, lubricants and grease products which are distributed worldwide.
Authorities say they will let the fire burn out. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency, State Police, and multiple other state organizations have been mobilized to deal with the situation.