Massive fire destroys landscaping and farm supply store in Shorewood


SHOREWOOD, Ill. (CBS)– Shelter in place was lifted in the southwest suburb of Shorewood, after a massive fire at a landscaping and farm supply store sent what authorities feared was toxic fumes into the air Tuesday morning.

The fire started around 4:30 a.m. at the Tri-County Stockdale Company in the 25500 block of Black Road in Shorewood.

In addition to the risk of toxic fumes from the blaze, police and firefighters were concerned about propane tanks and power lines.

Some neighbors said they woke up to the sound of explosions.

For hours, thick smoke billowed from the property as the landscaping and agricultural supply facility caught fire.

He burned all things lawn and garden; including animal feed, compost, fertilizers and pesticides, which were of particular concern to firefighters.

“Once the fertilizer and pesticide start burning it creates toxic smoke, and with the weather we’ve had, the humidity, it keeps the smoke closer to the ground,” the district manager said. of Troy Fire Protection, Andy Doyle. “All the firefighters involved were wearing SCBAs or other air masks. We tried to keep them out of the smoke as much as possible, even if they were wearing an air bag, just because toxic fumes, because it will get on their equipment, and stuff like that.”

That’s why, for several hours, officials told people within a 2-mile radius northeast of the store to shelter in place.

Doyle said even people who weren’t in the smoke cloud could have smelled the fertilizer burning.

“We will continue to monitor him. We ask all residents who have respiratory problems to be cautious, and if they smell anything that does not smell good, or if they have the impression of having any irritation their respiratory system, dial 911, and someone will come check in for them and make sure everything is safe,” he said.

Firefighters were also concerned that propane tanks on the property could get too hot and explode.

They were also concerned that one of the site’s grain silos could collapse and fall on power lines, which would have knocked out power to almost all of Shorewood. So they had to clear the perimeter around those lines.

Four of the six buildings on the property are a total loss.

Doyle said Tri-County Stockdale has been around for decades and has become a community staple.

“You need fertilizer or grass seed to do your garden, a lot of people have been there. They’ve been in business for a long time,” he said.

While the blaze was put out after a few hours, Doyle said crews will remain on the scene most of the day and night to put out hot spots. Black Road will likely be closed for most of the day between River Road and County Line Road as crews commute through the water.

Investigators do not believe the fire was suspicious, but it will be a full day before they can enter and begin their work.

No injuries were reported and, while authorities were still taking stock of the animals that were inside the facility when it caught fire, at least 20 chickens and a cockatiel escaped. came out unscathed.

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