UPDATE: Cause of Fire at Akzo Nobel Chemical Plant Remains Unknown

A fire at the 26-acre facility on Route 6 in Grundy County took five hours and 17 responding units to extinguish.


It took five hours and 17 responding units to extinguish Thursday night's blaze at Akzo Nobel Chemical Plant, according to the Morris Fire Department. 

"Responding units immediately went into defensive attack with several master streams from aerial devices and ground monitors," a Fire Department news release said.

There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire and amount of damage are still unknown.

The blaze in the Dow Therm unit left a substantial portion of the structure in flames Thursday night, according to fire personnel. Responders set up tower ladders for foam units, and firefighters shut valves preventing additional pressure that was feeding the fire.

The alarm went off at 6:35 p.m., and was quickly upgraded to a box alarm, which alerted other fire departments.

The Morris Fire Department said additional units responded from Minooka, Channahon, Troy, Coal City, Plainfield, Rockdale, Wilmington, Seneca, Lisbon, Elwood Foam Task Force, Mobil Foam Task Force, LyondellBasell Foam Task Force, Grundy County EMA, Grundy and Will County Hazardous Material Teams, Grundy County Sheriff's Office, Division 15 Rehab Unit, and Akzo Nobel plant personnel.

Located on Route 6 east of Morris, the manufacturing facility occupies 26 acres of a 323-acre site, according to Akzo Nobel's web site. Opened in 1973 and currently employing 115 people, the plant produces chemicals that change the feel of other materials when mixed with water or other solvents, such as fabric softener.

This fire comes about a month and a half after an explosion at LyondellBasell, also near Morris. In late May, a power failure at the plant outside Morris in unincorporated Grundy County prompted the .

Little Dancer July 15, 2011 at 04:19 AM
Thanks for putting some perspective on this C Sak. My boyfriend works there and I am still waiting to hear from him. I have faith that God will hear our prayers!
waiting July 15, 2011 at 04:54 AM
I am also still waiting to hear from my husband who works there.
Guy July 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM
No sir, that would be amazing if cheap labor caused the storm...maybe they could help the farmers with some rain...but inexperience and lack of training can cause issues with systems at a plant...I've seen it for years...and "shut my mouth"... Not very nice...why are you so upset? Wish you all the best, have a great day.
Guy July 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM
I hope everyone at the plant is safe and goes home to their families and loved ones.
Bob July 15, 2011 at 01:45 PM
I believe I was misunderstood about labor. You are correct I am a retired Union worker and I have been employed at Union Oil as an operator and later have worked at the trades,so I have seen all sides. Again I don't know the cause of this mishap but I strongly don't believe it was done by labor. These plants are old as I said and the reason I asked which side your on is because there are plant employees ,office employees, construction and maintenance personnel whether union or not. My experience in plant maintenance is fires are caused by the supervision who know there is a problem and refuse to repair it because of output stats to meet. I hope there was no injury to anyone and i hope I have cleared up my position to you. If you are still out there be careful and look out for yourself and your co-workers because not many others are.


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