Firefighters battling blaze at Carus Chemical plant in La Salle – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Residents near a northern Illinois chemical plant were told to shelter in place Wednesday as firefighters responded to a fire that sent smoke plumes towering over the plant.

After the fire began Wednesday morning at Carus Chemical in La Salle, local officials sent an emergency alert advising people who live in the city’s third and fourth wards to shelter in place.

La Salle Fire Chief Jerry Janick said the public should avoid the area and allow firefighters to work on dousing the fire.

There were reports of explosions being heard at about 9 a.m. followed by smoke that was visible from the plant, the News-Tribune reported.

Kim Biggs, a spokesperson for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, said the agency is still gathering information and will respond to the site.

Carus Chemical workers were evacuated due to the fire, which was reported to be in the plant’s shipping department, according to the News-Tribune.

La Salle is located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

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