Chemtool Ordered to Reimburse State After 9-Day Fire

The grease maker could be facing a hefty bill.

In June of 2021, a massive fire ripped through a factory in Rockton, IL.

Chemtool, the largest manufacturer of grease in North America, was the site of an explosion that sent plumes of black smoke into the sky.

More than fifty employees were reportedly evacuated, unharmed, but the size of the fire meant nearby residents and businesses were evacuated as well.

The response required action from multiple agencies and the fire wasn’t fully extinguished for more than nine days.

Chemtool has now been ordered to reimburse county and state agencies for the costs incurred fighting the fire.

The plant also must submit a detailed plan relating to chemical disposal, demolition and decommissioning of the site.

Illinois' EPA director cited the “long road to recovery for the community” following the event, which he claims has resulted in hundreds of staff hours and continued cleanup.

Though the incident was devastating, the fire was ultimately deemed accidental.

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