January 31st, 2022
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
On January 11th at 8 a.m., a fire broke out at the Carus Chemical plant in La Salle, Illinois. The plant produces potassium permanganate, an oxidant used to treat drinking water. The oxidant can accelerate burning of combustible material once it catches fire. As smoke covered the area, chemical ash fell nearby.
Shortly after the fire began, local officials sent an emergency alert advising people who live in the area to shelter in place and avoid touching any green substance covering homes, cars, and outdoor furniture. The University of Illinois recommended removing contaminated clothing and rinsing the affected skin for at least 15 minutes or until pain is relieved. The blaze has caused significant damage to the plant, but all workers were accounted for.
Live video feeds around 11 a.m. showed multiple fire apparatuses parked near the plant, aiming hoses toward the building as gray and white smoke rose from the area. It took nearly five hours to bring the fire under control. On Wednesday night and into Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency was testing the air and water near the chemical plant – while fire crews remained in active cleanup mode.
The cause of the fire is still not determined but officials found no signs of suspicious activity.
Property loss prevention inspections can help assess hazards and risks of fire. Recommendations can be provided to help minimize hazardous exposures. Risk Logic engineers can review fire and explosion hazards, and aid in establishing contingency plans. Contact Risk Logic, about conducting a property loss prevention survey at your facility.