Rockton, Illinois Fire Department issues mandatory evacuation due to early morning fire at Chemtool

Multiple fire crews are at the scene of a structure fire at Chemtool on Prairie Hill Road in...
Multiple fire crews are at the scene of a structure fire at Chemtool on Prairie Hill Road in Rockton this morning.(WIFR)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 9:28 AM CDT
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ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - One firefighter was injured and several fire crews are at the scene of a structure fire at Chemtool on Prairie Hill Road in Rockton, Illinois Monday morning.

Around 7 a.m. multiple area fire departments were called to 1165 Prairie Hill Road in Rockton for reports of smoke showing at Chemtool Incorporated. Some neighbors reported hearing small explosions s the fire burns with smoke being seen for miles.

According to the Rockton Fire Chief, an area within a one-mile radius of the Chemtool plant in Rockton is under a mandatory, full-scale evacuation.

Those within the evacuation zone map, head to Rockton Middle School and Roscoe Middle School, according to the Village of Rockton and the Rockton Police Department.

All residents and businesses within a one-mile radius of Chemtool are directed to evacuate to Roscoe Middle School immediately, according to an emergency alert sent out to mobile devices.

Here is a statement from The Lubrizol Corporation, which owns the Chemtool facility in Rockton.

“At approximately 7 a.m. today, local emergency personnel responded to a fire at the Lubrizol Corporation’s Chemtool Facility in Rockton, Ill. We have confirmed all on site are safe and accounted for. Our concern right now is for the safety of all our employees and the surrounding community. As a precaution, authorities have evacuated residents in a one-mile radius of the site.

We do not yet know what caused this incident, but we will be working with local authorities and with our own risk management team to determine what happened and identify any corrective actions. We will share more details as they are known. We are grateful to our employees, first responders and safety forces responding to this incident,” Alicia Gauer, Senior Director, Global Communications for the Lubrizol Corporation said.

At this time, it is unclear what caused the fire and if there are any hazardous chemicals involved. According to Lubrizol Coporation, the owner of the Chemtool Facility, and fire officials, none of the employees were injured.

The Village of Rockton asks the public to avoid Rt. 2 and E. Rockton Road so first responders from other communities can quickly respond to the fire.

“Please do your part in helping fight this fire. No landscape watering today and any unnecessary water use,” according to the Village of Rockton.

Salvation Army staff and volunteers are responding to the Chemtool fire, sending a mobile feeding unit, including a field kitchen and rapid response unit to provide meals, snacks and beverages to first responders, according to the Salvation Army of Winnebago County.

Frisellabrations, on Yale Bridge in South Beloit, is opening their doors for anyone evacuated who would like shelter and AC.

The Rockford Fire Department told WIFR they are fully aware and are monitoring the situation. Rockford fire officials are recommending people in the area to stay inside (no mandatory order at this time) or to do what they feel comfortable with.

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