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Chemtool Parent Company: 'One Of These Is Too Many'

Bill Snyder, Vice President of Operations for the parent company Lubrizol
Bill Snyder, Vice President of Operations for the parent company Lubrizol

The parent company of Chemtool is apologizing for a fire that continues to burn in northern Illinois. 70 workers at the Rockton grease plant were evacuated safely Monday. 200 employees worked at the facility. The building is a complete loss. It’s still unclear what caused the fire.

Bill Snyder is Vice President of Operations for the parent company Lubrizol. He spoke during an update Tuesday carried by WREX-TV.

“One of these is too many," Snyder said. "We never want to have one of these. We do absolutely everything we can to be good neighbors in the communities in which we operate.”

Snyder says the company is working with private contractors for air and water monitoring.

They are also working with the Red Cross to provide relief to those affected by the fire.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

There are about a dozen evacuees at Roscoe Middle School. It’s been set up for people needing shelter as they wait for the green light to return home. Kathryn Markley lives about half a mile from Chemtool. She stayed overnight at the middle school.

"I have not slept," said Markley. "I went in and sat on the floor in the bathroom with my kitties sitting there. They haven't eaten or drank or anything. And that's been over 24 hours. They're scared. They don't know what's going on."

Markley says she’s hoping she can head home soon, but understands it may be a while.

As the fire continues to burn, firefighters are using foam instead of water to reduce runoff into the Rock River.

An industrial firefighting crew from Louisiana is building trenches around the site to keep chemicals from getting into the waterway.