HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENT
On December 15, 2022, at 11:25 a.m., an Aurora Fire Department Engine Company responded to a building in
the 600 block of W. Illinois for an odor investigation. Upon arrival, employees directed fire crews to a chemical
mixing area where the odor source was. Employees stated that two chemicals were accidentally mixed, which
created a vapor cloud that filled the room. There was one employee in the room when the incident occurred, but
they were able to evacuate safely. Also, 50 workers in the facility, away from the chemical area, evacuated
Two firefighters wearing protective clothing and breathing air from their SCBA bottles entered the area and felt
a burning sensation around their mask seal. The firefighters immediately backed out of the building and
upgraded the incident to a Hazardous Material Level II response, bringing the Aurora Fire Department
Hazardous Materials Team to the scene. The two firefighters who initially made entry were treated for minor
injuries by paramedics and transported to a local hospital. They were later released and returned to duty.
Upon the arrival of the Hazardous Materials Team, they assessed the situation and found that more assistance
was needed. The incident was upgraded to a Level III Hazardous Materials Incident, bringing the Mutual Aid
Box Alarm System (MABAS) Hazardous Materials Team to the scene. Hazmat technicians entered the building
and determined the incident was isolated and the chemical reaction had stopped.
The building was rendered safe after it was ventilated and turned over to management. Management stated the
facility would remain closed until the cause of the incident was investigated. There was no threat to the public
during the incident, and no civilians were injured. Illinois Avenue between Highland and Lancaster was shut
down for approximately four hours.
The US and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, and Illinois Emergency Management Agencies
were contacted. The Aurora Fire Department received assistance from Aurora Police, Aurora Emergency
Management Agency, North Aurora, Sugar Grove, Elburn, Montgomery, and Geneva fire departments.
Credit: Aurora FD