Fire chief: No one injured in Geneva factory chemical explosion

Cause of explosion, fire still under investigation

Area crews work to control a fire and hazmat response in the 400 block of Union Street Tuesday February 7, 2023 in Geneva.

GENEVA – There were no injuries reported after a multi-alarm hazardous materials fire Tuesday at Olon Industries, 411 Union St., on Geneva’s near west side, Fire Chief Mike Antenore stated in a release late Tuesday.

The Geneva Fire Department was dispatched at 1:33 p.m. to the industrial manufacturing facility for an activated fire alarm. Upon arrival, firefighters were notified by facility workers that there had been an explosion in the chemical storage building at the site, the release stated.

The initial response was immediately elevated to a General Alarm and then to a Mutual Aid Box Alarm System first-level fire and hazardous materials alarm to bring in additional manpower, equipment and resources, the release stated.

The preliminary cause of the explosion and fire remains under investigation.

Damage to the facility was limited to a 16-foot-by-16-foot chemical storage building to the rear of the factory. Fire personnel controlled the chemicals being released and extinguished the fire at 4:25 p.m.

There is no known hazard to the community.

A precautionary evacuation was ordered for Wheeler Park, the Geneva Township Senior Center and the Geneva Park District offices located due east of the incident.

Factory employees already had exited the building after the fire alarm had been activated, the release stated.

Notifications were made to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Firefighters from Batavia, St. Charles, Elburn, North Aurora, Sugar Grove, Aurora, Montgomery, West Chicago, Fermilab, Sugar Grove, Elgin, Carol Stream, South Elgin, and Bartlett assisted Geneva at the scene.

Winfield, Wheaton, Fox River & Countryside, and Sugar Grove fire departments filled in at the Geneva fire stations and responded to other calls in the community.

Geneva Police Department, Geneva Emergency Management Agency, Kane County Office of Emergency Management, Geneva Public Works Department, and Nicor Gas provided additional assistance.