Mass Fire Reported at LaSalle Chemical Plant; Residents Asked to ‘Shelter in Place’ – NBC Chicago

Emergency crews are on the scene in LaSalle County after a large 4-alarm fire was reported at a chemical plant in the area, authorities confirmed.

According to LaSalle police, around 9 a.m. Wednesday, an “explosion” occurred in a shipping container at the shipping department of the Carus Chemical Plant, located at 1500 8th Street in LaSalle, located about 80 miles southwest of LaSalle. Chicago.

Carus, a family-owned chemical manufacturer founded in 1915, “supplies products and services for municipal water treatment, wastewater and air purification, and soil remediation,” the company says.

City officials issued a statement about the incident, saying “There was a fire at the Carus Chemical Building. Residents living nearby are asked to shelter in place.”

According to local reports, an “explosion” was reported near the Carus Chemical plant around 9 a.m. Wednesday, located at 1500 8th Street in LaSalle, located about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.

Shortly after the city’s update, the LaSalle Police Department issued a statement warning nearby residents to stay away from a green substance that was released “into the area” as a result of the fire.

“Attention LaSalle residents of Wards 3 and 4,” the update begins, “due to recent events, an oxidizer (which appears to be green in color) has been released in the area. DO NOT touch this substance. If you see this substance nearby or at your residence can be disabled.”

The statement then goes on to instruct residents on how to deactivate the substance, saying, “To deactivate, you will need a 1:1:1 mixture of: 1 gallon water, 1 gallon peroxide, 1 gallon vinegar.”

According to authorities, no injuries have been reported and employees were able to evacuate safely.

LaSalle police also said the fire, although under control, is still active.

Photos and video from the scene show large flames erupting from a badly damaged plant and huge clouds of smoke billowing into the sky, traveling near what appear to be homes and businesses.

An update posted on the LaSalle – Peru Municipality High School District 120 Facebook page stated: “As you may be aware, there was an explosion at the Carus Chemical plant on the east side of LaSalle this morning. Our school campus is safe.” .

“We have been in communication with local emergency services to determine the best course of action to maintain the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We have been advised that it is safe to continue school as usual at this time.” School administrators will continue to monitor the situation. In case something changes, we will inform families as soon as possible,” the post continued.

Located at 541 Chartres St., the high school is approximately one mile west of the plant.

An August 2022 report from the NewsTribune in LaSalle County says that in August, Carus, a “family-owned manufacturer offering products and services used globally for water treatment, wastewater, air purification, and soil remediation” , announced a $20 million expansion of its manufacturing facility.

According to the report, the plant would be modernized and have “increased production capacity.” Construction work as part of the expansion was expected to be completed by the end of the year.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.