ROCKTON, IL– A massive fire following a chemical facility explosion on Monday is now out, but could smolder and smoke for days.
“We are making headway,” Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson said. “You still see some smoke, I know people have questions, but you’re going to see some smoke for several days because of the capacity of this building.”
Wilson and health officials have listed the mask mandate which was in place for all people living within the three-mile blast zone, however people living within the 1 mile evacuation zone won’t be allowed back into their homes in the immediate future.
Winnebago County Health’s Dr. Sharon Martell says environmental testing, and air quality testing, will continue for the foreseeable future, but early returns have been positive.
“What still remains unknown is the composition of the matter on the ground, Martell said. “We are concerned about returning individuals into that zone until we have a more thorough understanding of what’s in that zone.”
The blast at Chemtool Inc. in Rockton early Monday morning sent thick plumes of black smoke that could be seen up to twenty miles away. The fire required a response from 45 departments over the span of 24 hours, in addition to site visits by the Illinois EPA.
Two people suffered minor injuries but there were no fatalities reported.