Rockford Scanner. Rockford’s Leading Online News Site!
From: The Office of Fire Chief Kirk Wilson
On December 4, 2018 at 12:47 hours, the Rockton Fire Protection District along with the Winnebago County Sheriffs Office was called to 518 Willow Lane in South Beloit for a reported hazardous material incident. When the fire chief arrived, it was reported that a white powder substance was on the floor inside the residence. No one was living in the residence at the time of this incident. The individual who had lived in the residence had been moved to a medical facility and passed away two weeks prior to this incident. Two workers were on scene cleaning out belongings when they came across this substance.
The workers who entered the property stated the substance may have been Sodium Cyanide. First responders were ordered not to enter the property. A safety perimeter was established at that time. The fire chief activated the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System bringing in hazardous material specialists from the City of Rockford and surrounding areas. A medical doctor from Mercy Rockford responded to the scene as well. Cyanide antidote kits from around the region were requested to the scene.
As a precautionary measure, the two workers who may have been exposed to this material were decontaminated at the scene and transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Both subjects were cleared medically and released from the hospital.
The fire chief and his command staff implemented an action plan to secure the property and contact a hazardous material clean up agency. The hazardous material clean up agency retrieved a sample of the substance for analysis and identification.
Due to the extreme poor living conditions of the property and no working utilities, the Winnebago County Health Department was notified and the property was condemned and secured.
The State of Illinois EPA was notified of the incident. US EPA, from the Chicago Office, tested the substance and it was negative for Cyanide. The substance identified was dry mix Plaster of Paris.
At this time, there is nothing further to report.
Update: They found a powdery substance they thought was possible cyanide
Details are minimal right now.
Rockton Fire Department has pulled a MABAS 14 to the box level for a Hazmat situation. It happened near Willow Lane near Rockton
Unknown what happened at this time.
Hazmat responds to all types of calls that involve hazardous materials.
Last time Hazmat was dispatched, was for a bomb threat situation at the airport a week ago. It is not yet clear if this is the situation for this call.
Still developing, check back later for possible updates