Pritzker activates National Guard to respond to chemical fire in Winnebago County

Governor JB Pritzker has activated the Illinois State Emergency Operation Center in Springfield and the Illinois National Guard to respond to a large chemical fire in Winnebago County.

Residents within a two-mile radius have been evacuated and are encouraged to wear masks to prevent the inhalation of particulate matter (soot).

Roscoe Middle School at 6121 Elevator Road in Roscoe, Illinois has been set up as an evacuation site.

"I am monitoring this situation closely and will make all resources available to the surrounding communities as we work to keep people safe," Pritzker said.

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Authorities in Winnebago, Stephenson and McHenry counties have been notified. 

The explosion happened around 7 a.m. at Chemtool Incorporated located at 1165 Prairie Hill Road. Chemtool is the largest manufacturer of grease in the United States.


Personnel from several state agencies and organizations responded to the blaze.

In addition, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has activated its Radiological Emergency Assessment Center (REAC) and the Illinois National Guard Civil Support Team for air monitoring.