“Morris officials said the evacuation order for the massive industrial fire will remain in place indefinitely, even as they continue to make progress fighting it.
Official said Thursday morning they “made a lot of progress” using Portland cement mix to fight a massive industrial fire at an abandoned paper mill Thursday and that it is now “in check.”
Morris Fire Chief Tracey Steffes said they have used 28 tons of Portland cement to smother the burning lithium batteries and there was no longer any active burning at the site. He said by Wednesday night, there were no more flames or smoke coming from the batteries.
Chief Steffes said that the unconventional method appears to be working, but warned it is possible the batteries could continue burning since they do not need oxygen to burn.
“When we smothered it with the concrete, we’re not 100% sure that this thermal runaway is not continuing,” Chief Steffes said. “It is probably continuing and hopefully it is going to consume what is left of the batteries underneath then it will be over. But there is a possiblility that as this continues that it does break through this Portland cement.””
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Pathieu, Diane. ABC Channl 7 News Chicago 1 July 2021.