Air Quality Monitoring Continues Near Site of Massive Shorewood Farm Supply Store Fire

Officials say that they are continuing to monitor air quality after a massive fire at a farm supply store in suburban Shorewood this week, but say that there is not believed to be a threat to the public at this time.

According to authorities, flames erupted at the Tri-County Stockdale store at approximately 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

There were no injuries reported during the fire, and there were no employees or customers inside of the store at the time the blaze broke out, according to officials.

A brief stay-at-home order was issued by authorities due to burning fertilizer and other chemicals, but officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say that there is no current threat to the public, and that the agency is continuing to monitor air quality in the area.

“What we’re trying to do is look at what potential compounds may be in the warehouse, and what types of air monitoring may be appropriate,” Jim Mitchell, who works at the EPA’s Chicago office, said.

He added that the EPA is coordinating with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the CDC and other agencies to get a full picture of the substances and chemicals that could still be in the facility.

“We have been inundated with calls for the smell of something burning, which is natural because it continues to smolder,” fire chief Andy Doyle said. “That’s why we had crews out there again today to try and knock some of that smoke down. Even with the smokeout, you’re still going to have that odor with the wind blowing.”

Doyle said that the public can still call in with concerns.

The fire devastated the facility, destroying at least four of the six buildings on the site. The estimated financial loss has already exceeded $1 million, according to officials.

Water had to be trucked in to battle the blaze. There were no sprinklers or fire alarms inside any of the six buildings at the facility, according to officials.

Firefighters have remained near the scene on Wednesday, putting out hot spots as some chemicals, as well as hay and straw stored at the facility, continue to ignite.

All animals that were housed at the facility were rescued, according to officials.

Meanwhile, the store’s owners have already hired an environmental cleanup service to address any issues with chemicals, and to combat potential water runoff.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is being undertaken by the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, but is expected to take weeks to complete.

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