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Why was no Illinois disaster proclamation issued for the Chemtool fire?

Chemtool Fire

ROCKTON (WREX) -- It has been roughly three weeks since the massive fire at Chemtool, more than 150 fire departments responded to the blaze that burned for days. State, federal and local authorities all responded for both the fire and the environmental impact. But, why was no official state disaster proclamation issued?

On Tuesday, Rockton Village President John Peterson told 13 WREX he planned to call the state to request one be issued, especially since one was issued regarding the fire at the lithium battery plant in Morris, Illinois. The village board also planned to vote at its next meeting to request the governor issue one, it brought it up in new business this week.

Now, the village says it got an explanation from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

IEMA says the fire in Rockton did not require one due to the number of services and resources available in the area, that includes firefighters, debris removal crews and more.

"The state’s response to the Rockton fire did not require any resource purchases or personnel deployments beyond the scope of state capabilities," the village posted on Facebook.

It says IEMA explained one was issued in Morris due to the nature of the fire itself and the lack of resources. The fire at the Morris plant is believed to be the biggest lithium fire in the nation, and there were no more resources to help in the area. So, finding that help required the proclamation.

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James Stratton

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