Evacuations Ordered from IL Chemical Fire Visible on Weather Radar

Navya Gupta

Chicago Tribune


An evacuation order was in place Monday in a northern Illinois near Rockford because of a chemical fire large enough to be picked up by weather radar, officials said.

Residents and businesses within a one-mile radius of at Chemtool Incorporated, 1165 Prairie Hill Road, in Rockton, have been ordered to evacuate and go to Stephan Mack Middle School, Rockton Police said through a Nixle alert.

According to the alert, the fire has been rated as severe, posing a significant threat to life or property.

The fire was large enough to be picked up on weather radar, according to the National Weather Service’s Chicago office. A passenger on a flight from Madison, Wisconsin, to Chicago, Michael Leto, spotted the fire from the air and took a picture a little before 9:10 a.m., he said.

Crews from the Rockton Fire Protection District and the Rockton Police Department, along with other areas fire departments, were at the scene. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency had been notified of the fire, but did not immediately have details.

Check back for updates.

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