News - Joliet and Will County

Shorewood fertilizer plant fire under control; cause of blaze under investigation

Troy fire chief encourages residents to call 911 if they experience breathing problems

A Shorewood fertilizer plant burned early Tuesday morning and is now under control.

Fire officials had asked all residents within a two-mile radius northeast of the location to shelter in place because of possible toxic fumes.

No one was in the building at the time and no one was injured, according to Troy Fire Chief Andy Doyle.

Emergency personnel rescued two exotic birds and some chickens, he said.

The fire destroyed four of the six buildings at Tri-County Stockdale, a farm equipment store, Doyle said. The cause of the fire has not yet determined, he said.

Firefighters with Troy Fire Protection District responded to a call about 4:30 a.m. regarding flames and smoke coming out of the front of Tri-County Stockdale, 25520 W. Black Road, Shorewood, according to Doyle. Troy fire officials requested mutual aid from surrounding agencies - 15 fire departments and approximately 60 firefighters, Doyle said. Water tankers were also brought to the scene to supplement the fire hydrant, he said.

In addition, heavy equipment was brought to the site to lift metal pieces of these pole buildings away from any remaining hot spots, Doyle said.

“Crews are still out there actively working,” he said.

Doyle said the fire has since been brought under control but the fire department will monitor the scene throughout the day.

He said to avoid Black Road between County Line and River Road, which remains closed to allow water to be shuttled to the site.

Because Tri-County Stockdale sells fertilizer and pesticides, all residents within a two-mile radius northeast of the business were asked to shelter in place because of possible toxic smoke. Residents with breathing problems should call 911. Air quality is being monitored, Doyle said.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has been contacted, Doyle said.

Fire investigators from the state fire marshal’s office are at the fire, but may not be able to enter the buildings for some time, Doye said. Tri-County Stockdale’s managers are also being interviewed, Doyle said.

Tri-County Stockdale sales representatives did not respond to a call or email on Tuesday about the fire.

Rachel Bassler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman, said the agency just received a request for deployment to the Shorewood pesticides fire to perform air monitoring.

Bassler said staff from U.S. EPA is en route to the location on Tuesday afternoon.

Lori Snode, who lives in Saddlebrook Estates subdivision, just west of the plant, said her husband, Doug Snode, had seen the fire and called 911. She said her husband told her afterward not to go outside of their home because the “air is bad.”

“We don’t know how it got started. That’s what is kind of scary,” Snode said.

Because of concerns of the air quality, Lori Snode said she plans to stay at her daughter’s home in Yorkville.

Check back with the The Herald-News for further updates to this story.