Chicago-Lithium battery Overnight there was a loud explosion in a burning former paper mill in northern Illinois. Officials believed that the mill was abandoned. Fire officials had decided to extinguish the fire because they feared that trying to extinguish it might cause more explosions.
The fire that started in Morris on Tuesday prompted city officials to order the evacuation of 3,000-4,000 people from approximately 950 nearby houses, schools, churches and small businesses.
On Wednesday, as thick black smoke continued to billow from the building, Police Chief Alicia Steves said that the evacuation order would last until at least 9 pm and “may be extended.”
She said police are stationed throughout the area to prevent people from entering, although anyone who can prove they live there can return to get essential medicines.
Fire Chief Tracey Steffes said that so far, air quality tests have “recovered well”, but he warned that changing weather conditions and other factors may cause air quality to deteriorate.
Mayor Chris Brown urges anyone with respiratory problems to contact their doctor.
The fire chief said that he was collecting information from the fire department and other experts on how to put out fires in buildings-which surprised his department and other city agencies-and was used to store nearly 100 tons of lithium batteries, ranging in size from mobile phone batteries. To large car batteries.
Steffes firefighters stopped using water to extinguish the fire a few minutes after discovering the battery, because water and fire fighting foam would cause the battery to explode. He said that although he heard some ideas on how to put out the fire-some people suggested using road salt-he would not send personnel to fight the fire because the contents are unknown.
“I can’t 100% know what is stored in that building, I only know what they told us what is stored in that building,” he said.
In addition, Steffes said that although his department and other agencies have put out fires in buildings containing lithium batteries, so far he has not found any fires involving so many batteries. He said that overnight battery explosions could be heard throughout the city.
The mayor said that the city did not know that the building was used to store batteries before it caught fire, and that he knew very little about the companies that own the batteries.
“The name of the company is Superior Battery…We didn’t know of their existence until yesterday afternoon,” Brown said. He said that apparently other people in the city hall did not do this because there was no record of a business license and there was no communication between the company and any municipal department.
Steffe barely concealed his anger at the very serious danger faced by his firefighters. He stated that he could not trust any information from the company.
“We have no way of knowing that they are doing business in… there,” Steffes said, adding that a company official told him that they had occupied the building for about a year. Steffes said the paper mill has been vacant for decades.
No information about advanced batteries is immediately available. The fire chief said that company representatives were not invited to attend Wednesday’s press conference.
The mayor said that the police department will investigate the battery storage and has contacted other agencies including the state fire department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Morris is located approximately 70 miles (115 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.
Two weeks after the Morris fire, an explosion and fire broke out in a chemical plant near Rockton, Illinois, on the border of Wisconsin, forcing hundreds of families to evacuate for several days.No one was injured in the factory or surrounding communities June 13 fire Officials later determined that it was accidentally activated during maintenance work.