Carus LLC Fire News Updates

News Update

Carus LLC Fire News Updates

RESOURCES

Carus Community Hotline | 815-224-6662
For questions regarding the fire, community cleanup, and insurance claims.

U.S. EPA | 800-621-8431 | www.epa.gov
For questions regarding air quality and overall environmental impact.
U.S. EPA Air Quality Report | response.epa.gov/lasallechemicalfire

LaSalle County Health Department | 815-433-3366 x 244 | lasallecountyil.gov/hd
For questions regarding personal health.

Illinois Department of Agriculture | 217-782-2172 | www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr
For questions regarding livestock.
Guidance for Animals Impacted by Carus Fire | Updated LaSalle Fire Flyer

Illinois Department of Natural Resources | 217-782-5302 | www2.illinois.gov/dnr/
For questions regarding wildlife.

Carus LLC Working with Neighbors on Continued Cleanup

PERU, IL (January 30, 2023 3:00 pm) – Carus LLC is working with neighbors on continued cleanup efforts in the community following a January 11 fire at the Carus manufacturing plant in LaSalle. Since the fire, the Carus community hotline has served 240 residents.

Many hotline calls have focused on property damage that occurred on the day of the fire. On January 25, Carus launched a new community resource to expedite property assessments and insurance claims for homeowners in the surrounding community. Residents are encouraged to call the community hotline at 815-224-6662 or visit www.carusllc.com for more information.

“The fire created some challenges, but we have much to be thankful for,” said Andy Johnston, President and CEO. “First and foremost, everyone is safe. The fire department and emergency responders did an incredible job. They took quick action to keep everyone safe.”

He explained that Carus employees have stepped up in creative ways to support the community. “We are incredibly proud of our team members who have taken on additional responsibilities like answering calls on the community hotline.” He added that many Carus employees are working long hours to support the community and customers, and to help rebuild the plant.

The ongoing safety of the community remains the top priority for Carus. Aside from potential property damage, hotline calls have focused on air quality, health concerns and safety of animals and livestock. Carus has compiled a list of third-party resources and experts to support these inquiries, and more information is available at www.carusllc.com.

Residents have also expressed concern about the cause of the fire and what can be done to avoid a similar incident in the future. The State Fire Marshal conducted a preliminary investigation and found the cause of the fire undetermined with no evidence of suspicious activity.

“It’s important that we all understand how this fire started. We have engaged a third-party consultant who specializes in root cause analysis for these types of incidents. They are conducting a thorough investigation of the fire and we expect preliminary results in the coming weeks,” said Allen Gibbs, Vice President of Operations. He added that Carus is committed to finding the root cause to prioritize the health and safety of employees, customers and the communities served.

Carus has been producing potassium permanganate for over 100 years and has enjoyed over a century of growth and success in Illinois’ Starved Rock Country.

UPDATE (January 27, 2023 3:00 pm)

Carus Installs Temporary Steam Generator and Boiler to Reduce Noise

Carus is bringing in a temporary steam generator to reduce noise around the plant and continue operations while the company repairs pipes damaged in the January 11 fire. 

The main water boiler survived the fire in operational condition and is safe to use, but there is some repair work at the plant required. The temporary boiler is better suited for the short-term decrease in manufacturing activity, and it will expedite production, alleviate excess noise, and produce less emissions than the permanent boiler.

To reduce impact on neighbors, Carus requested a special permit from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to bring in a smaller and quieter boiler until repairs are complete.

Carus is committed to doing the right thing and working with our neighbors throughout the recovery process.

UPDATE (January 25, 2023 11:00 am)

Many calls to the Carus community hotline have focused on property damage that occurred on the day of the fire. On January 25, Carus launched a new community resource to expedite property assessments and insurance claims for homeowners in the surrounding community. 

UPDATE (January 23, 2023 9:00 am)

Notice of Force Majeure Event at Carus LLC, Impacting Potassium and Sodium Permanganate Supply Only

On January 11, 2023, Carus LLC experienced a fire at the LaSalle warehouse, which resulted in significant damage. Fortunately, all Carus employees and emergency personnel are safe and accounted for.

State and federal regulators and first responders responded very quickly and the Fire Chief has turned the facility back over to Carus.

We are declaring force majeure as we believe it will be impossible for Carus to fulfill all orders for potassium and sodium permanganate for approximately the next 90 days. We will keep you informed as we get more information. To be clear, Carus is currently unable to comply with the terms of applicable contracts due to this event of force majeure, including but not limited to supply and notice provisions.

Please rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to address this issue as soon as possible. We will continue to share updates as they become available, particularly with respect to timing of our return to production, which at this time remains uncertain.

Carus LLC Resumes Phosphate Operations at LaSalle Plant

PERU, IL (January 20, 2023 2:00 pm) – Carus LLC resumed production and shipping of phosphates out of its LaSalle plant on January 18, just six days after a fire in another area of the property.

“It is great to be making and shipping phosphates at our LaSalle plant again. It is back to ‘business as usual’ for phosphates thanks to the great teamwork and resourcefulness of Carus employees,” said Carus LLC President and CEO Andy Johnston “I would also like to thank our customers for their support and patience over the last few days.”

Carus phosphates are used for corrosion control in potable and industrial water systems. These products help clean, maintain and extend the life of system infrastructure including mains, service lines, valves, meters and household plumbing.

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Carus LLC Leads Community Cleanup After January 11 Fire

PERU, IL (January 18, 2023 5:30 pm) – Carus LLC partnered with a local car wash to sponsor community car washes on January 12 and January 13. The company has also partnered with local power washing crews to clean properties impacted by the January 11 fire at the Carus manufacturing facility in LaSalle, Ill.

Just hours after the fire began, Carus established a community hotline for neighbors. Members of the community are invited to call 815-224-6662 with questions or concerns related to the fire. Carus employees are answering calls, providing support and offering complimentary car washes and power washing services.

“Carus team members have answered almost 250 phone calls,” said Lyndsay Bliss, Vice President of Human Resources. “We are working diligently to respond to everyone in a timely manner, and we are committed to helping our neighbors.”

Carus has donated 42 car washes to community members so far. Late last week, the company hosted two community car washes. Carus employees were on site to greet neighbors and answer questions as locals came to get their vehicles cleaned. The hotline team also delivered car wash tokens to neighbors who were unable to attend the car wash events.

The hotline team has also connected with neighbors who need power washing services at their homes. Power washing work began on January 16. Both car wash and power washing services are available to residents free of charge. Anyone still in need of cleanup is encouraged to call the Carus community hotline at 815-224-6662.

“It is inspiring to see everyone come together in the wake of this fire,” said LaSalle Mayor Jeff Grove. “I am impressed that Carus is acting so quickly to clean up the neighborhood, and I am happy to see other local businesses rally to support these efforts as we all rebound together. This is a testament to the strength of our community.”

As cleanup efforts begin, Carus continues to partner with the City of LaSalle, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, LaSalle County Health Department and others to prioritize the health and safety of residents.

UPDATE (January 18, 2023 4:30 pm)

The U.S. EPA partnered with the Illinois EPA and the City of LaSalle to address frequently asked questions following the January 11 fire.

Carus LLC Thanks First Responders, Community for Support in Wake of Fire

PERU, IL (January 13, 2023 5:00 pm) – Carus LLC would like to thank first responders and partner agencies for taking quick action to keep the community safe during and after the January 11 fire at the Carus manufacturing facility in LaSalle, Ill.

The LaSalle Fire Department, LaSalle Police Department, Peru Fire Department and Peru Police Department were among the first on the scene. Several area fire departments joined emergency response efforts, along with the City of LaSalle, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, LaSalle County Health Department, LaSalle County Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, among others.

Local businesses and community members stepped up immediately to support first responders and Carus employees. “The support from our neighbors has been absolutely amazing,” said Communications Manager JoLynn Anzelc. “Within the first few hours, Hy-Vee, Lou’s LaGrotto and Bean Box provided food and drinks, and several other restaurants and businesses donated food and drinks throughout the week. Thank you to Beck’s, Bruce and Ollie’s, Casey’s, Cintas, Dresbach’s, Flo’s on Pulaski, Pizzas by Marchelloni’s and the Salvation Army for your support during this time.”

Carus was founded over 100 years ago in LaSalle and continues to operate in the same community today. “We are committed to rebuilding the plant and helping neighbors following the fire,” said Andy Johnston, President and CEO. “We are grateful to be part of this incredible community, and we look forward to a strong future in LaSalle and Peru for many years to come.”

Carus has established a community hotline and neighbors are invited to call 815-224-6662 with questions. The Carus community hotline will be accepting calls from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, January 14 and will reopen again at 9 am on Monday, January 16. All voicemails will be returned as soon as possible.

UPDATE (January 13, 2023 2:30 pm)

Carus has been made aware of one injury resulting from the January 11 fire. A third-party contractor who was onsite during the incident later sought medical attention. LaSalle Fire Chief Jerry Janick previously reported one firefighter was injured but treated and released. We are not aware of any other injuries at this time.

UPDATE (January 13, 2023 12:30 pm)

For those in the community whose cars have been impacted by this situation, Carus will have employees staged at Precision Car Wash (17 3rd St. La Salle, IL 61301) from 3-6pm today handing out car wash tokens. If you are not available for the car wash token distribution, please call the Hotline at 815-224-6662 to make arrangements.

UPDATE (January 12, 2023 6:00 pm)

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has provided guidance on precautions to take for animals impacted by the fire.

Carus LLC Focusing on Community Cleanup in Wake of Fire

PERU, IL (January 12, 2023 5:00 pm) – In the aftermath of the January 11 fire at the LaSalle, Ill. manufacturing facility, Carus LLC is working with local first responders, government officials and regulatory groups to guide community cleanup efforts. “The continued health and safety of our employees, the first responders and members of the local community remains the top priority for Carus and our partners as we navigate this next phase,” said Allen Gibbs, Carus LLC Vice President of Operations.

The fire started at about 9 am CST on January 11 in the warehouse area of the Carus manufacturing plant, and first responders had it under control by Noon. “We want to express our gratitude to the LaSalle Fire Department, City of LaSalle, area first responders and regulatory agencies for taking quick action to keep the community safe.”

Carus employees and contractors were all safe and accounted for shortly after emergency responders arrived onsite, and as of 12:30 pm CST today the LaSalle Fire Department turned the site back over to Carus. As cleanup efforts begin, Carus will work with the U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA along with other regulatory groups for guidance on cleanup efforts.

It is important for members of the community to have the most accurate, updated information. Carus has established a community hotline and neighbors are invited to call 815-224-6662 with questions. Carus is partnering with local carwashes and other contractors to support community cleanup efforts, and more information will be shared on the Carus website and Facebook as it becomes available.

UPDATE (January 12, 2023 2:30 pm)

For those in the community whose cars have been impacted by this situation, Carus will have employees staged at Precision Car Wash (17 3rd St. La Salle, IL 61301) from 3-6pm today handing out car wash tokens. If you are not available for the car wash token distribution, please call the Hotline at 815-224-6662 to make arrangements.

UPDATE (January 11, 2023 5:30 pm)

Carus has established a hotline for members of the community. We welcome questions at 815-224-6662.

Carus LLC Confirms Fire Under Control at Plant

PERU, IL (January 11, 2023 1:00 pm) – The fire at the Carus, LLC manufacturing facility in LaSalle, Illinois today is under control, according to LaSalle Fire Chief, Jerry Janick. The fire occurred in the shipping area of the plant during regular operations around 9 this morning. As a precaution, LaSalle Fire Department has called for a voluntary shelter in place for those living within a three-block radius of the plant.

According to Carus Vice President of Operations, Allen Gibbs, all Carus employees are safe and accounted for, “We are thankful everyone is safe, and we are also grateful to the LaSalle Fire Department and crews from the surrounding area who responded to address this situation to keep the area safe.” He added, “Carus’ priority is to protect the health and safety of the employees, emergency personnel who are responding to this fire and the nearby community.”

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