Chemtool Fire - 06/25/2021 @ 5:15 PM

Source:  Rockton Fire Protection District News Release


On Monday, June 14th, 2021, at 07:00 hours, the Rockton Fire Protection District was dispatched to 1165 Prairie Hill Road for a report of a fire inside the Chemtool / Lubrizol facility. Subsequently, Rockton Fire investigated the cause and origin of the fire and has determined the cause of fire as ACCIDENTIAL. 

Here are the events that took place on the morning of June 14th, 2021: 

On Monday, June 14, a project was underway at the Chem tool/ Lubrizol facility to replace insulation on an elevated heat transfer piping network that was part of the site's system for heating certain vessels used in the manufacturing of lubricating greases. This network of piping carried heated mineral oil. 

That morning, an employee of an outside contractor performing the insulation replacement project was working in the area of origin. They were utilizing a scissor lift to access the elevated heat transfer piping network. 

Shortly before 07:00 hours while the employee of the outside contractor was working in the area, a release occurred from the elevated piping. An unknown amount of mineral oil immediately began falling and pooling on the floor in the area of origin. 

Chemtool operators promptly detected the release and shut down the boiler. They were in the process of placing containment booms, as well as de-pressuring the heat transfer piping network, when the fire ignited. 

At the present time, the most credible scenario is that the scissor lift struck a valve or other piece of piping with sufficient mechanical force to cause the release of mineral oil. The Investigation has not yet determined the source of ignition.