Hazmat Called for Illinois Chemical Plant Fire

With hazmat on scene, incident commanders issued a shelter-in-place order for two districts in LaSalle, Ill., following a morning fire at a chemical plant in early January.

In addition to sheltering in place, residents were warned against touching a green-colored oxidizer that was released during the incident.

The Carus Chemical plant makes potassium permanganate, which is used for wastewater treatment. It also manufactures phosphates, polymers and other chemicals.

Also Read: Final Report on 2019 Texas Chemical Plant Explosions and Fires

The Arlington Cardinal reported that MABAS Division 25 Box Alarm 101 was activated to the second level at 9:05 a.m., and was upgraded to the fourth level with an EMS Box Alarm at 9:43 a.m. MABAS is the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System used across multiple states surrounding Illinois. An EMS Box Alarm 201 was elevated to the second level at 10:17 a.m. And the MABAS Division 6 hazmat team was requested at 11:11 a.m.

MABAS has 40 hazmat teams with 10 to 20 members each that can handle up to Level A materials detection, monitoring, containment and mitigation.

Allen Gibbs, a Carus chemicals representative, told Illinois Public Radio he would feel comfortable letting his dogs outside with the substance around and that staining is the biggest concern at this point.

Also Read: Hazmat Reminders from a Recent Biofuel Plant Fire

LaSalle issued a news release telling residents the material could be cleaned with water. The release also addressed air and water monitoring.

U.S. EPA air monitoring has ended and data show no levels of concern. Carus will continue air monitoring during cleanup, the release said. IEPA and Illinois Department of Natural Resources conducted water sampling and visual inspections of the Little Vermilion River finding no detections of chemicals of concern. Additional samples collected by Illinois EPA at the site and in the community are being analyzed and will be made available.

No worker, civilian or firefighter injuries were reported during explosion, fire or emergency response efforts.

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