A fire erupted at a Carus Chemical plant in LaSalle, Illinois, on Wednesday morning, following an explosion that sent dark smoke billowing into the air, according to officials and local reports.
LaSalle Mayor Jeff Grove’s Facebook page said the city is monitoring the fire at the plant “to get more information.” No details about the cause of the fire were immediately available.
There were reports of an explosion heard at the plant around 9 a.m. local time, the News Tribune reported.
Workers at Carus Chemical were evacuated and residents in the nearby 3rd and 4th wards were asked to shelter in place, the paper reported.
LaSalle Fire Chief Jerry Janick asked the public to avoid the area as firefighters work to extinguish the fire.
“Additional code red calls will be made as new information is obtained,” the fire chief said in the alert obtained by the outlet.
LaSalle police said that responders released an oxidizer, which appears green, in the area due to the fire and asked residents to avoid touching the substance. If citizens find the substance near their residence, police said it could be deactivated with 1:1:1 mixture of water, peroxide and vinegar.
Carus Chemical produces chemicals to treat drinking water, according to the company’s website.