Suspicious Chemical Plant Explosion Reported

( Last Friday, the city of LaSalle, Illinois announced that the clean-up after a massive fire at a chemical plant has moved to a long-term phase. Officials remain unsure what caused the fire and are currently testing the air and water quality to narrow down the source, WGN reported.

The fire erupted at the Carus Chemical plant in LaSalle last Wednesday morning following an explosion that sent dark smoke billowing into the air.

Area residents reported hearing several explosions followed by plumes of black smoke coming from the plant.

Police said plant employees were able to escape unharmed but one firefighter suffered minor injuries.

According to WGN, a spokesperson for Carus said the fire started in the warehouse but did not say what caused it.

Carus Chemical produces potassium that is used to treat drinking water and wastewater. WGN reported that a greenish substance released by the fire fell on area cars, yards, and homes.

One resident told WGN that particles fell everywhere outside. In some areas, it appeared black while in others, it appeared green. Some locals reported seeing a purple substance.

Police warned area residents not to touch the substance, instructing them to wash it away using a mixture of water, peroxide, and vinegar.

Juan Torres told WGN that he spent hours cleaning the residue off of his home, yard, and cars. And while he was successful, he discovered that his truck got oxidized by the substance.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been on site checking air and water quality to determine if there are any dangerous pollutants. As of Friday, the EPA had not reported any levels of concern.

Carus Chemical will continue to monitor the air during the long-term clean-up. Officials assured the public that they will be transparent once they have all the details about last week’s fire.