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Big Fire at the Chemtool plant in Rockton IL

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posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 04:39 PM
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I'm in Wisconsin at the moment and I can see the smoke from here. The smoke is blowing south at the moment.
Chemtool is apparently one of the largest manufacturers of grease around, according to The Sun (www.the-sun.com...)


Chemtool is a company that manufactures lubricants, grease products and other fluids, and is, according to the company, the largest manufacturer of grease in the Americas.

The company "offers a wide variety of lubricating greases to meet your needs," according to Chemtool's website.

"We formulate and manufacture greases that are used in a multitude of markets and applications.

"Our team of industry experts is driven by technology and innovation and is committed to excellence."

The company was launched in 1963, and "conducts business domestically and internationally.


Terrible news for the company and not a good day for the grease economy. They're saying they will let it burn for several days as to avoid an environmental disaster with potentially harmful water running off into the Rock River.

They evacuated the entire 2 mile radius around the plant and the EPA is currently performing air quality tests, however the air at ground level was said to be a non-issue for now. Nearby residents are being asked to stay indoors and turn off their air conditioning.

No one knows for sure what caused the blaze as of yet, according to the article from The Sun,



It is unclear what caused the initial explosion. It is also not clear if there were any hazardous chemicals involved. One employee claimed that a pipe that pumps hot grease up to the ceiling from kettle to kettle broke.


The smoke was dense and large enough to be picked up by weather radar. Not a good day in the chemical industry for North America.



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 05:09 PM
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a reply to: servovenford

From the sound of it they don’t manufacture anything instantly deadly when airborne.
Still wouldn’t want to be down wind of that fire.



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 05:12 PM
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And besides the environmental issues...


Chemtool Incorporated offers a wide variety of greases and specialty products in a multitude of packaging and branding options to accommodate the needs of every customer. We offer private label grease products and packages in your brand name
Source.

Does anyone know which brands they make and package?

The last thing we need is a grease and gear oil shortage, as production and transportation in rest of the economy tries to recover.

edit on 14-6-2021 by gb540 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 05:35 PM
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Damn…lubricants….the porn industry is gonna be devastated……


originally posted by: servovenford
I'm in Wisconsin at the moment and I can see the smoke from here. The smoke is blowing south at the moment.
Chemtool is apparently one of the largest manufacturers of grease around, according to The Sun (www.the-sun.com...)


Chemtool is a company that manufactures lubricants, grease products and other fluids, and is, according to the company, the largest manufacturer of grease in the Americas.

The company "offers a wide variety of lubricating greases to meet your needs," according to Chemtool's website.

"We formulate and manufacture greases that are used in a multitude of markets and applications.

"Our team of industry experts is driven by technology and innovation and is committed to excellence."

The company was launched in 1963, and "conducts business domestically and internationally.


Terrible news for the company and not a good day for the grease economy. They're saying they will let it burn for several days as to avoid an environmental disaster with potentially harmful water running off into the Rock River.

They evacuated the entire 2 mile radius around the plant and the EPA is currently performing air quality tests, however the air at ground level was said to be a non-issue for now. Nearby residents are being asked to stay indoors and turn off their air conditioning.

No one knows for sure what caused the blaze as of yet, according to the article from The Sun,



It is unclear what caused the initial explosion. It is also not clear if there were any hazardous chemicals involved. One employee claimed that a pipe that pumps hot grease up to the ceiling from kettle to kettle broke.


The smoke was dense and large enough to be picked up by weather radar. Not a good day in the chemical industry for North America.



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: gb540

Yeah no kidding. According to their website, they specialize in "private label" greases and lubricants,


Chemtool Incorporated offers a wide variety of greases and specialty products in a multitude of packaging and branding options to accommodate the needs of every customer. Our comprehensive product line is already packaged, in stock and ready for sale.


Probably with some digging or insider info one could find who they supply? They make a lot of different products, metal working fluids, corrosion inhibitors, cleaners, quenchants, polyurea, aluminum complex, you name it. www.chemtool.com...

On there site here are just a few:
www.chemtool.com...
LARZIP 15, TENAXOL QUENCH ULTRA 2500, NuSOL ALUMAX for example, they have pages on pages of what they make, it's just about everything.

I don't know about a shortage yet but it's definitely a big dent in the chemical economy. Bad news.



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: gb540

You thought BLM was mean?
If there's a shortage of my favorite lube from Walmart, I'll personally be starting ww3.


edit on 6 by Mandroid7 because: Sp



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 07:33 PM
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Rock River is Not a deep river either. Some nice flat heads I have caught there.



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 08:19 PM
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Just some background,
Used to work at a grease manufacturing plant some yrs ago. Lots of stuff can cause a fire.
We had drums of Toluene, huge 10 & 25 hundred gallon tanks with heating elements cause you can't move cold grease,
Char-mills at the bottom of tank whose motors can absolutely catch fire Plu,s the the fumes in the place were potentially explosive. The equipment ran on 420 electrical, so most fires happened with issues from shorts in equipment,
or equipment was being worked on by electricians.

My first day on the job we were lined up getting a talk when we all heard a huge bang.
I ran out the door right behind some guy who appeared to be a mechanic. Seriously...if you ever see Maintenance or tradesmen running you better be right behind them!

What happened is we were getting a double walled holding tank for grease removed when his welder lit up the fumes between the walls. The tank lifted off the cement floor an hit the 2nd story roof.
The welder was life-flighted.



posted on Jun, 14 2021 @ 09:17 PM
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a reply to: musicismagic

I too have caught giant flathead in the rock river ( at the Byron dam, which is not too far from Rockton) but I must say that this is not a river I would fish out of beyond sport. It is absolutely disgusting. And as a person who used to reside in Rockford I can honestly say if there was a little grease run-off into the rock, no one would notice.



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: Caver78
Just some background,
Used to work at a grease manufacturing plant some yrs ago. Lots of stuff can cause a fire.
We had drums of Toluene, huge 10 & 25 hundred gallon tanks with heating elements cause you can't move cold grease,
Char-mills at the bottom of tank whose motors can absolutely catch fire Plu,s the the fumes in the place were potentially explosive. The equipment ran on 420 electrical, so most fires happened with issues from shorts in equipment,
or equipment was being worked on by electricians.

My first day on the job we were lined up getting a talk when we all heard a huge bang.
I ran out the door right behind some guy who appeared to be a mechanic. Seriously...if you ever see Maintenance or tradesmen running you better be right behind them!

What happened is we were getting a double walled holding tank for grease removed when his welder lit up the fumes between the walls. The tank lifted off the cement floor an hit the 2nd story roof.
The welder was life-flighted.



Thank you Caver!

I saw something similar on a smaller scale in gas house for aerosol plant 30 years ago when part of a 30 foot long water bath bounced off the 36 foot ceiling.

Frightening stuff.

And the first indication was a mechanic and line operators running at full speed away from their workstations.

Luckily safety gear worked (well enough anyway) and only injury was 2nd degree on the back of the last guy's neck and a little burnt hair.


Have seen comments from bird face that this Rockport facility was also a primary supplier for a certain fracking lubricant.

Do you know how to confirm or debunk that claim?

(I am making no such claim myself)



edit on 15-6-2021 by Nunyabizisit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 01:52 AM
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originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: musicismagic

I too have caught giant flathead in the rock river ( at the Byron dam, which is not too far from Rockton) but I must say that this is not a river I would fish out of beyond sport. It is absolutely disgusting. And as a person who used to reside in Rockford I can honestly say if there was a little grease run-off into the rock, no one would notice.


Hey I'm from the Quad Cities.



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 07:34 AM
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a reply to: musicismagic

Hey I live in west des moines now. Surely the Mississippi river is much better fishing than the rock, no? Especially with that terrible invasive carp that has over-run the rock, not to mention the sheephead that were always there. Long as it wipes out the invasive ones, the rock could use a little "cleansing".



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 11:44 AM
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originally posted by: Caver78
Just some background,
Used to work at a grease manufacturing plant some yrs ago. Lots of stuff can cause a fire.
We had drums of Toluene, huge 10 & 25 hundred gallon tanks with heating elements cause you can't move cold grease,
Char-mills at the bottom of tank whose motors can absolutely catch fire Plu,s the the fumes in the place were potentially explosive. The equipment ran on 420 electrical, so most fires happened with issues from shorts in equipment,
or equipment was being worked on by electricians.

My first day on the job we were lined up getting a talk when we all heard a huge bang.
I ran out the door right behind some guy who appeared to be a mechanic. Seriously...if you ever see Maintenance or tradesmen running you better be right behind them!

What happened is we were getting a double walled holding tank for grease removed when his welder lit up the fumes between the walls. The tank lifted off the cement floor an hit the 2nd story roof.
The welder was life-flighted.



That is really scary stuff.
Still no word on the cause of the Rockton blaze but from your info it sounds like it could be anything.

Latest advice: stay indoors and (you guessed it) wear a mask if you go outside. Respirator more like it...


Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell urged those living within three miles of the plant to wear a mask or face covering when outdoors. The Rockford Fire Department sent its hazardous materials team to conduct an air quality analysis, and Wilson, the fire chief, said, "At this point in time there is no danger to air quality at ground level."


Is this going to be one of those cases where they keep finding more and more issues as time goes on? Such as worse air impacts than originally thought, more river pollution, etc? Hope not. Good thing I'm not going to be in the area for much longer. I don't know anything about air quality and the EPA, but there is no way that plume of black grease smoke is healthy.


However, county officials later said more in-depth testing with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be needed to measure the impact to air, water and land. "We are first and foremost focused on life safety in addressing concerns to make sure we mitigate the current existing conditions," Martell said Monday. While residents within one mile of the plant have been asked to evacuate, residents two miles directly south of Chemtool are asked to stay indoors as a precaution, close windows and doors, and turn off air conditioner/HVAC units.


Source: www.usatoday.com...

Meanwhile, it continues to burn. The plant itself is leveled from the blaze, but the remainder of the materials will burn off over the next few days.
edit on 6/15/21 by servovenford because: edited source link



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 12:19 PM
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Oh dear, I don't know what to say, what to call you all????? Thicko's, naah. Idiot's naah. I can't find the right word, But I aught to take all your names and remind you when the greenies come on here and moan about Global Warming, or whatever they will call it, and I want you all to post the film of this fire because it's shoving that much shi# into the atmosphere that your carbon bootprint (cos boots are bigger than foot) has just been used up for the next 100 years. But you just keep worrying about the lovely flames.



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: Nunyabizisit

I don't know how to find out if they're manufacturing fracking lubricant, but it's possible to look for under maybe their building certificates? They'd have to declare it somewhere, altho I'd expect they'd give the chemical names not using the word fracking anywhere.

GOOD ON YOU!!
Running right behind the tradesmen!! Snip like that will save your life every time. Mechanics & tradesmen almost NEVER run, ever.

One night on shift we had a liquid lithium leak. Co-worker shoved me a serious 25ft away. He got some overspray but not bad. Then I got lectured that kinda sweet smell means a chemical burn right thru your skin & straight thru the bone. The leak was on the second floor & ate right thru it to us on the ground floor.
Fun times.



posted on Jun, 15 2021 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

Yeah, I have never worked with anything more unstable than common LPG, but saw some of the refinery and chem plant incidents in training back then.

And forgot about most of it many years ago as have been in different fields since then.

I tried an MSDS search, but none of the names meant anything to me.


Agree 100% on seeing the pros running.

If you ever see that, in any industry, immediately join them.

You can ask why you are all running later, if it doesn't become obvious.




posted on Jun, 16 2021 @ 01:02 AM
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a reply to: crayzeed
This is bad for the immediate area. They were right to let it burn because the chemicals contaminating the ground and water would have been worse. The pollution to the atmosphere from this event is .0001 percent or less when compared to a decent sized volcano eruption. The stuff they make here is 100% essential to our modern lifestyle. Nobody wants to see this stuff happen but humans and machines always have the potential for catastrophic failure.



posted on Jun, 16 2021 @ 01:11 PM
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The fire has been contained but is still smouldering. The mandatory evacuation order remains in place along with suggested mask wearing within a 3 mile radius. Flare ups are possible but the fire is under control.

I don't doubt they will soon reveal that the depth of the local environmental impact is worse than originally thought. They applied some kind of a foam to the remains of the building in efforts to stop further leakage but they still do not know exactly what "got out" during the blaze.


Officials are still concerned about what the fire means to the surrounding environment. Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli previously told Newsweek that a disaster proclamation issued from June 14 to June 21 will "ensure the efficient delivery of all necessary personnel and supplies in order to quickly curb any negative environmental effects of the fire."


Not to mention all of the potentially highly toxic debris laying around from the blast. Don't touch it!


Besides wearing masks outdoors, people in the area have also been urged not to pick up waste that falls from the sky, as it is still unclear what the waste might contain.


Source: www.msn.com...



originally posted by: SouthernForkway26
a reply to: crayzeed
This is bad for the immediate area. They were right to let it burn because the chemicals contaminating the ground and water would have been worse. The pollution to the atmosphere from this event is .0001 percent or less when compared to a decent sized volcano eruption. The stuff they make here is 100% essential to our modern lifestyle. Nobody wants to see this stuff happen but humans and machines always have the potential for catastrophic failure.


Exactly.



posted on Jun, 18 2021 @ 05:08 AM
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a reply to: servovenford

Offt!

That looks like one hell of a massive chip-pan fire.

Hope its been brought under control and everyone is ok.

Not be putting much water on it i imagine.




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