ROCKTON, Ill (CBS) — On Friday, four days after the Chemtool Inc. plant exploded in a massive fireball, evacuated residents who lived within a mile radius of the plant can return home.
“The test results indicating that residents can return safely to their home and resume some sense of normal life is welcome news.,” said Dr. Sandra Martell, Winnebago County Health Department Administrator. The current data indicates there are no adverse effects on the river or violations of air quality.READ MORE: Judge Bars Chicago Police Union President John Catanzara From Encouraging Officers To Defy City's Vaccine Mandate
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency, IEMA, and the Winnebago County Health Department advise the residents to take extra precautions as they return back to their homes. Alongside the Illinois EPA, the three organizations released a document giving residents advice on what to do when they return to their homes.
Their cleaning recommendations include:
Before cleaning, take pictures and document the condition of their property for insurance claims. State and local officials plan to start property damage assessments on June 22.
Throw away any food or water that may have been exposed to the smoke soot. If any food was sitting out, or if water was left in a dog bowl, the release said it should be thrown away.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Chilly Tonight, Sunny And Cool Weekend
Long sleeve clothing, gloves and a mask should be worn when cleaning any debris inside.
Residents can call Clean Harbors, a contractor, at 877-552-8942 to come out and remove fire-related debris.
The release also suggested residents clean or replace their air conditioner’s filter and do not let children or pets touch or play with the debris.
Although residents can return back to their homes, the Illinois EPA said that they will continue to test and monitor the water from the Rock River. Residents can access the air, water and soil testing online on the Winnebago County Health Department website.
Residents who were adversely affected by the fire can also submit a reimbursement claim here.MORE NEWS: Sky Cruise To 86-50 Win Over Mercury, Take 2-1 Lead In WNBA Finals
The Winnebago County Health Department also has created a hotline and email address to answer questions from the public at 815-972-7300 and RoctonChemFire@wchd.org.