The City of LaSalle held a press conference on Thursday afternoon to update the media and the public regarding yesterday’s fire at the Carus chemical plant located 1500 8th Street in Lasalle. Brent Bader with the City of Lasalle addressed the Shelter at Home recommendation that was issued by the City for the 3rd and 4th ward areas that surround the Carus plant stating that the length of the Shelter at Home order was out of an abundance of caution as multiple sources of information were being brought together to give the best care and advice to residents affected. Robert Kondreck with the Illinois EPA gave a statement indicating that they are continuing to monitor air quality but noting that thus far there have been “no detections above our action levels.” The Illinois EPA also addressed questions regarding the clean up of the ‘purple substance that had been seen in the immediate aftermath of the explosion and fire. According to the EPA, and reiterated by Carus representative, Allen Gibbs, the substance can easily be washed away with water. Pet owners should limit exposure by washing the substance away from areas where pets may eat or drink and by washing pets that may have been outside during the event.
Fire Chief Jerry Janick stated in a brief statement that the fire is out at the chemical plant and the sight has been turned back over to the owners of Carus. Speaking of Carus, Carus Vice President Allen Gibbs spoke at the press conference and assured the public that the purple substance can be washed away with water. Gibbs also stated that homes or vehicles affected can also be washed with water and that Carus has teams available to come and aid in the clean up of affected homes and properties. Those in need of help with clean up can contact Carus at 815-224-6662. The Carus hotline was the subject of confusion yesterday as several different numbers were released and created a situation where people with questions could not get through. Allen Gibbs from Carus stated on Thursday that the hotline issues have been repaired and that residents should have no trouble contacting the hotline for help.