Authorities allow a massive chemical plant fire in Rockton, Illinois, to burn itself out, which could take several days, rather than risk chemical runoff spilling into the nearby Rock River.
Fire department officials said the air near the plant is safe at ground level, and no workers were injured in the explosion and fire at the Chemtool factory in Rockton, near the Wisconsin state line. The fire prompted a mandatory evacuation order near the plant.
The fire began around 7 a.m. at the Chemtool plant at 1165 Prairie Hill Rd. Some neighbors in the area reported hearing small explosions as the fire started burning. The company manufactures fluids, lubricants, and grease products for machinery.
CBS 2’s Brandon Merano reported he could see the plume of smoke from the fire from 50 miles away as he headed to the scene.
More than 40 fire departments were called in to help contain the fire, fighting falling debris and grass fires in nearby yards.