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ATF: Cause of Chemtool Fire not criminal or suspicious

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ROCKTON (WREX) — Officials also lifted the one-mile evacuation order near the Chemtool plant during a news conference on Friday morning.

The cause of Chemtool fire doesn't appear suspicious or criminal, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), but there's no other information on the fire investigation.

"Again, this is going to take some time," Chief Kirk Wilson with the Rockton Fire Protection District said.

Fire operations were subsided last night during the storm, but resumes this morning.

Field samples sent to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency came back safe and stable. Those results informed officials it was safe for residents to return.

Officials will continue testing water, air and land samples in what was the one-mile evacuation zone.

Dr. Sandra Martell said the evacuation zone was constructed to be the "least restrictive, but the most protective."

Law enforcement aren't sure how many residents actually evacuated in the one-mile zone, but said they evacuated as many residents as they could.

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Jena Kleindl

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