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VIDEO: 4-Alarm fire breaks out at Chemtool manufacturing plant in Rockton

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Chemtool Fire
Chemtool Fire
Chemtool Fire
Chemtool Fire
Chemtool Fire
Chemtool Fire
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Chemtool Fire

ROCKTON (WREX) — Multiple departments were called to handle a large fire Monday morning at a manufacturing plant in Rockton.

Information is limited at this time but a call came in just after 7 a.m.

Related: "'Full scale' evacuation in effect in Rockton during Chemtool fire"

Heavy, dark smoke can be seen from miles away. WREX received reports that the smoke could be seen up to 25 miles away.

Loud pops could be heard coming from the structure.

Chemtool is located at 1165 Prairie Hill Road in Rockton. Anyone within one mile of the plant is asked to leave the area.

Roscoe Middle School is the evacuation site for anyone within one mile of the plant.

Chemtool issued the following statement about the fire:

"At approximately 7 a.m. today, local emergency personnel responded to a fire at the Lubrizol Corporation’s Chemtool Facility in Rockton, Ill. We have confirmed all on site are safe and accounted for. Our concern right now is for the safety of all our employees and the surrounding community. As a precaution, authorities have evacuated residents in a one-mile radius of the site.

We do not yet know what caused this incident, but we will be working with local authorities and with our own risk management team to determine what happened and identify any corrective actions. We will share more details as they are known. We are grateful to our employees, first responders and safety forces responding to this incident."

Chemtool’s website says the company “is a premium manufacturer of grease in the Americas.” The company’s corporate headquarters, a research laboratory and one of its production facilities is located in Rockton. 

Its products include fluids, lubricants and greases manufactured for a wide variety of purposes. Chemtool serves industries including agriculture, automotive, construction, energy, food, industrial, marine, mining, metalworking and steel industries. 

The company was founded in 1963 by James Athans and was initially privately held. Chemtool moved to its current location in Rockton in 2009. It’s been through several ownership changes and was most-recently purchased by the Lubrizol company in 2013. 

13 News has a team on scene and we will provide updates as they become available.

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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