Officials: No injuries in fire at Illinois chemical plant

Jan 10, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 6:15 pm
Firefighers battle a chemical plant fire in  LaSalle, Ill., on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. After the ...

Firefighers battle a chemical plant fire in LaSalle, Ill., on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. After the fire began Wednesday morning at Carus Chemical in La Salle, local officials sent an emergency alert advising people who live in the city's third and fourth wards to shelter in place. (ABC 7 Chicago via AP)

(ABC 7 Chicago via AP)

La SALLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials said a large fire that sent smoke plumes towering over a northern Illinois chemical plant has been contained and no injuries have been reported.

After the fire began Wednesday morning at Carus Chemical in La Salle, local officials sent an emergency alert advising people who live in the city’s third and fourth wards to shelter in place. That order was lifted at 5 p.m.

Carus Chemical workers were evacuated from the plant and all them have been accounted for, said La Salle Police Chief Mike Smudzinski.

There were reports of explosions being heard at about 9 a.m. followed by smoke that was visible from the plant, the News-Tribune reported.

La Salle Fire Chief Jerry Janick said he couldn’t confirm any explosions. He said it’s not known yet what caused the blaze.

In a statement, a Carus official said the fire began in the plant’s shipping area.

“We are thankful everyone is safe, and we are also grateful to the La Salle Fire Department and crews from the surrounding area who responded to address this situation to keep the area safe,” said Allen Gibbs, the company’s vice president of operations. “Carus’ priority is to protect the health and safety of the employees, emergency personnel who are responding to this fire and the nearby community.”

Carus Chemical produces potassium permanganate, an oxidant used to treat drinking water, wastewater, industrial process chemicals and for numerous other applications, according to the company’s website.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gibbs said the oxidant released during the blaze can cause staining but it can be cleaned with household vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. The company set up a hotline to address residents’ questions, he said.

“It’s a good chemical that cleans up the drinking water,” Gibbs said. “When it’s in the form it’s in, it can create a problem. It oxidizes and it turns into a dust.”

Robert Kondreck, an on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said a team began monitoring air in the area upwind of the plant on Wednesday afternoon. Kondreck said representatives for the U.S. Coast Guard and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency also visited the site and believe the nearby Vermilion River did not receive runoff from the firefighting efforts.

As firefighters responded Wednesday morning, the blaze sent dramatic columns of smoke into the sky. Aerial photos of the site showed a collapsed structure, burned columns, trucks and other rubble.

La Salle is located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Teenage girl killed by shark while jet skiing in Australia

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A teenage girl was killed in a suspected shark attack in the Western Australian city of Perth after she jumped from her jet ski, police said Saturday. The 16-year-old was pulled from the Swan River with critical injuries. Emergency personnel provided medical assistance to her at the scene but she died, […]
1 day ago
Jessica Day-Weaver holds a ceramic hand print of her daughter, Anastasia, at her home, Thursday, Fe...
Associated Press

‘Died suddenly’ posts twist tragedies to push vaccine lies

Results from 6-year-old Anastasia Weaver’s autopsy may take weeks. But online anti-vaccine activists needed only hours after her funeral this week to baselessly blame the COVID-19 vaccine. A prolific Twitter account posted Anastasia’s name and smiling dance portrait in a tweet with a syringe emoji. A Facebook user messaged her mother, Jessica Day-Weaver, to call […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

India, France, UAE to work on climate change, biodiversity

NEW DELHI (AP) — India, France and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday agreed on a trilateral initiative to undertake energy projects with a focus on solar and nuclear sources, fight climate change and protect biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region. The countries will organize trilateral events in the framework of the Indian presidency […]
1 day ago
FILE - Mark Splonskowski assembles electronic poll book kits that voters will uses to sign in at po...
Associated Press

Electronic pollbook security raises concerns going into 2024

ATLANTA (AP) — They were blamed for long lines in Los Angeles during California’s 2020 presidential primary, triggered check-in delays in Columbus, Ohio, a few months later and were at the center of former President Donald Trump’s call for supporters to protest in Detroit during last November’s midterms. High-profile problems involving electronic pollbooks have opened […]
1 day ago
FILE - This Dec. 21, 2022, image provided by Eisai in January 2023 shows vials and packaging for th...
Associated Press

Why a new Alzheimer’s drug is having a slow US debut

The first drug to show that it slows Alzheimer’s is on sale, but treatment for most patients is still several months away. Two big factors behind the slow debut, experts say, are scant insurance coverage and a long setup time needed by many health systems. Patients who surmount those challenges will step to the head […]
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks on the January jobs report in the Eisenhower Executive Office Bui...
Associated Press

State of the Union: Biden sees economic glow, GOP sees gloom

WASHINGTON (AP) — Going into Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden sees a nation with its future aglow. Republicans take a far bleaker view — that the country is beset by crushing debt and that Biden is largely responsible for inflation. And the GOP now holds a House majority intent on blocking […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Officials: No injuries in fire at Illinois chemical plant