Fire at the Carus Chemical Plant in LaSalle

Fire at the Carus Chemical Plant in LaSalle


A fire that started at an Illinois chemical plant and sent massive plumes of smoke over the city of La Salle has been extinguished, the city said in a statement.

Fire officials responded to a “well-involved” structure fire at Carus Chemical around 8 a.m. Wednesday, La Salle Fire Chief Jerry Yanik confirmed. The company said the fire started in the shipping area of ​​the CBS Chicago plant informed.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire several hours later, but additional equipment was sent to the scene to help fully extinguish the fire and assist in the investigation, officials said.

Fire at the Carus Chemical Plant in LaSalle
Firefighters respond to an additional alarm fire at the Carus chemical plant in LaSalle, Illinois on January 11, 2023.


No injuries were reported and all employees were cleared, Yannick said. Officials have not released the cause of the fire and said the investigation is ongoing.

Footage of the fire showed flames engulfing part of the plant with large plumes of smoke rising into the sky.

La Salle residents in the 3rd and 4th wards remained under a “shelter in place” order as of Wednesday afternoon, officials said. La Salle police said a green oxidizer was released in the area and warned residents not to touch the substance.

According to the company siteCarus is a family-owned chemical manufacturer founded in 1915. It produces potassium permanganate — an oxidizer used to treat drinking water, wastewater and industrial chemicals — along with phosphates, polymers and other chemicals, according to the website.

The Sierra Club’s senior toxics policy advisor reflects on the LaSalle chemical fire


After the fire was extinguished, Allen Gibbs, Carus’ vice president of operations, thanked the fire department for helping keep employees and others in the area safe.

“We are thankful that everyone is safe, and we are also thankful to the LaSalle Fire Department and crews from the surrounding area who responded to address this situation to keep the area safe.” – said in the statement of Gibbs. “Carus’ priority is to protect the health and safety of employees, emergency personnel responding to this fire and the surrounding community.”

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