CHICAGO (CBS) — Firefighters were on the scene of an explosion and fire at a paint manufacturing plant that injured three people in the northwest suburbs.
The fire broke out around 1:30 p.m. at Fox Valley Systems, 640 Industrial Drive, in Cary. The company makes marking paint, such as the striping in parking lots.
A second explosion occurred around 2:45 p.m. and the situation was getting worse inside, according to Chopper 2’s Kris Habermehl.
Video from Chopper 2 showed an outer wall blown out.
Firefighters were trying to keep product tanks inside cool and keep the fire inside under control. A HAZMAT foam truck was on the scene to help fight the fire.
However, after the latest blast, firefighters were pulled away from the building and went into a defensive position to keep the fire from spreading. A two block area, which is an industrial park, was evacuated.
“It was a good idea when the police told us to vacate,” said Brett Coleman, who owns a bar across the street. “I didn’t have any idea. There was a loud boom, I looked out the window and there was an explosion.”
Asked about the chemical nature of the fire, Cary Police Chief Steve Casstevens said, “You are not sure sometimes when they get mixed what kind of fumes.”
According to a hospital spokeswoman the three victims were initially taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital but have now since been transferred. Their conditions were not available.
The fire station is less than 400 yards from the plant. Firefighters heard the initial explosion and responded.
There are two reported federal safety violations against the company. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company in 2009 for “serious’ violations involving heavy machinery.