Chemtool Plant, Sold to Berkshire Hathaway, Suffers Devastating Fire

Chemtool smoke from a Rockton home.

The plant of Chemtool, the plant that exploded in Rockton near the Wisconsin border today, started in Crystal Lake.

Chemtool smoke plume from an airplane flying out of Rockford Airport.

There still is a facility on Ridgefield Road in Crystal Lake.

The firm decided it needed a larger footprint and trying to obtain it west of Marengo.

When they did not work out, an attempt to locate in Garden Prairie was considered.

Eventually, the Beloit Corporation property in Rockton was acquired.

It is near the Rock River and fire fighters have decided not to pour so much water on the fire that runoff will pollute the waterway.

Jim Athans announced the sale of his company to Warren Buffett’s Birkshire Hathaway in 2011.


Chemtool Plant, Sold to Berkshire Hathaway, Suffers Devastating Fire — 6 Comments

  1. I hear this is the first or second largest lubricant plant in the nation.

    There is some fear about how this will affect trucking, industrial, auto, and farming but especially trucking and in turn the supply chain in general.

    I hear they stopped spraying it with water because they were afraid of runoff going into the Rock River.

    *Update they resumed spraying this morning.*

    There are some nasty chemicals and metals there that you don’t want burning, and you’ll hear about that more from curious journalists than government health and environmental officials it seems.

    This is a really nasty fire.

    People in Belvidere have alleged debris falling there, and the plume was highly visible in Harvard (there were some people even farther than that who got a good view of it).

    The radar images showed a large disturbance; when the wind was blowing fast to the south the radar picked the cloud up in DeKalb County and in the satellite images it looked like a big oil streak or like a smudgy pencil line (while the normal clouds look white).

    They are saying it could burn for 4 days.

    Looks like a nice, high pressure, clear blue sky kinda day.

    One could probably head west and get some good pictures.

    Usually if there is a happening, I’ll try to get Cal some pics, but I’m not playing around with this.

    God knows how many carcinogens are falling from this.

    Needless to say, there are already a lot of conspiracy theories floating around out there regarding this fire.

    It will be telling whether the employees can speak about this or whether they are silenced.

    Better get their statements fast because they could develop diseases or get into a car accident or something.

  2. You have to wonder the wisdom of a very large plant such as Rockton.

    Probably all about keeping manufacturing costs down.

    A number of smaller plants widely dispersed would limit the amount ash and particulates released into the atmosphere in the event of a explosion and fire at one of the smaller plants.

    Obviously a number of investigations by various agencies is forthcoming.

    Were state of the art protocols and procedures in place and up to date?

  3. One of the reasons one of the sites Cal mentioned was nixed was due to proximity to the Kishwaukee river if memory serves.

    Also, Chemtool was bought by the Lubrizol division of Berky.

  4. Wait until they reveal it was deliberately set.

    Chinese hirelings?

    cIA operatives?

    Fired black employee?

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