Rockton officials: Cause of Chemtool fire ‘does not appear suspicious or criminal’

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ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — Officials in Rockton say they still don’t know what caused Monday’s fire at the Chemtool plant.

At a press conference on Friday, Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson said it did not appear to be suspicious or criminal in nature.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is on the scene, investigating the cause of the massive blaze, which is still being put out.

The Chemtool plant, at 1165 Prairie Hill Road, caught fire and exploded on Monday, sending a dark plume of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been analyzing air, water and soil samples for contaminants. Residents within a one-mile radius of the plant were evacuated out of precaution, but were allowed back in their homes on Friday.

Health officials have declared the air safe to breathe, and Chemtool has said the materials that burned at the factory are not dangerous.

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