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Mon Jun 14, 2021, 08:45 PM

Massive chemical fire in Illinois prompts authorities to order evacuations

Source: CNN

Residents were ordered to evacuate their homes after a chemical fire broke out Monday morning at the Chemtool Inc. plant in Rockton, Illinois.

The city fire department ordered a mandatory evacuation for all residents and businesses in a one-mile radius of the plant, police said in a message on Twitter.

Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson said the city hopes to avoid "an environmental nightmare" that could occur if any of Chemtool's oil-based lubricants ran off into the Rock River, about 300 meters (330 yards) west.

Speaking at a news conference, Wilson said the department's water-based firefighting suppression has stopped inside the building, and they're now letting the product "burn off."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/14/us/illinois-industrial-fire/index.html





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Reply Massive chemical fire in Illinois prompts authorities to order evacuations (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jun 14 OP
Cadfael Jun 14 #1
roamer65 Jun 14 #2
Stuart G Jun 15 #6
Sherman A1 Jun 15 #3
murielm99 Jun 15 #4
ProfessorGAC Jun 15 #5

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Jun 14, 2021, 08:54 PM

1. This showed up on weather radar

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Jun 14, 2021, 10:11 PM

2. At least it wasn't like this...

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 15, 2021, 04:47 PM

6. Hit the link in the Original Post...and you will see it was worse than your picture...

Where it is says ....read more......(in the Original Post)

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Jun 15, 2021, 06:48 AM

3. Wow!

I have been to Rockton many years ago. Hate to see this happening.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Jun 15, 2021, 09:58 AM

4. Yesterday, this smoke was visible

40-50 miles away. I could see it from my house, which is roughly 50 miles away. It was visible on Doppler radar.

Every agency under the sun is out there. The federal EPA, the state EPA, the National Guard, law enforcement and fire officials are all present. Polluting the river is a major concern.

This comes right after we started to celebrate the opening of the state after a long pandemic lockdown. Pritzker gets no peace. I am glad he is our governor. At least he knows what has to be done.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Jun 15, 2021, 04:38 PM

5. From NBC Chicago

"It's burning at a rate of about one inch per hour," Wilson said. "And if we let this continue to burn, they were speculating it could take up to seven days for it to completely burn off."

The word seems to be that the mitigation is more to stop the spread & to prevent releases from hitting Rock River.
A refinery fire specialist is there foaming around the area on fire and are digging containment moats in case of container failure.
It's not clear from the report if this is a petroleum or renewable oil. But, it takes a lot of activation energy to ignite most natural oils. Petro oils are easier to ignite in the first place.
But, since they make some lithium greases there, they must have natural oils. LGs are produced by reacting lithium hydroxide with natural triglycerides. Technically it's a soap!
The other concerns are sulfuric acid to neutralize excess alkali, and lead used in compression greases.
From the snip, looks like they might just be letting it burn itself out.
I was unaware this was the biggest lubricant plant in the US. I live under 2 hours away.

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