Residents express their concerns after a massive fire spews apparent chemicals into the air in La Salle.

An update will be provided Thursday afternoon following a massive fire that broke out at the Carus Chemical plant in La Salle on Wednesday morning. Some of the neighbors are concerned.

The surrounding residential area appears to have been sprayed with chemicals.

Carus has established a hotline for residents of La Salle at (815) 224-6662.

As a precaution, a shelter-in-place order was issued for several hours, but it has since been lifted.

La Salle is located approximately 94 miles southwest of Chicago.

Residents are free to go about their normal lives on Thursday, going to work, school, or just going about their daily routines, while officials investigate what happened.

A video of a fireball during the incident has gone viral on social media.

“I pull up to the stop sign, and hear a loud explosion,” Khaleef Hammad, a witness, said.

When Hammad captured the moment the plant caught fire, he was only a block away.

“Oh it was loud. It was multiple explosions. Not just one, it was quite a few,” he said.

The chemical plant produces potassium permanganate, which is non-combustible but can hasten the combustion of explosive material once ignited.

Residents posted pictures of a substance that had coated their homes, yards, decks, and cars.

“When I hit the windshield wipers, it looked black to me, then it turned green and now it’s like a brown color. And it’s caustic. I know what it is; they know what it is,” said resident Jamie Hicks.

A viewer sent in photos of what she claimed the substance did to her lawn furniture. It appears to be rusted, with a hole eaten through the furniture, which she claims has been there since the fire.

A Carus Chemical representative attempted to reassure residents as firefighters contained and then extinguished the chemical fire.

“Some of the material that was released during the incident is used to as a drinking water material,” Carus Vice President Allen Gibbs explained. “If you come into contact with that material, it can stain your skin. The stain is not harmful to one’s health.

Residents are being warned to avoid the green residue that has been seen in the area. According to the La Salle Police Department, an oxidizer that appears green in color has been released. The substance should not be touched, according to police, and it can be deactivated.

“In order to deactivate it, you will need a 1:1:1 mixture of: 1 gallon of water, 1 gallon of peroxide, 1 gallon of vinegar,” police said.

The mayor of La Salle is thankful as environmental workers monitor the air and water for possible contamination, acknowledging that things could have been worse.

“Thank God (it was a) situation where nobody (was) killed or seriously injured … miracle in itself,” said Mayor Jeff Grove.

One firefighter was slightly injured at the scene of the massive blaze, which broke out around 9 a.m. at the 1500 Eighth St. plant.

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