ROCKTON — The 200 Chemtool employees out of work following Monday’s industrial fire at the Town of Rockton plant will continue to receive full pay and benefits amid the ongoing emergency response, according to a representative for the plant’s parent company Lubrizol.
Vice President of Operations Bill Snyder apologized for Monday’s fire, but stopped short of disclosing details about the fire’s possible cause.
“We are heartbroken by what’s happened and its impact on the community,” he added. “One of these is too many. We do absolutely everything we can to be good neighbors in the communities in which we operate.”
Employees are also being offered counseling services during this tough time, Snyder said.
“We are going to continue to support our employees and the community,” Snyder stressed.
Snyder also declined to comment on the plant’s fire suppression system which he says was installed in 2008, but noted the company had made multi-million dollar investments at the Chemtool site since purchasing the facility in 2012.
Lubrizol operates 60 chemical plants worldwide. Prior to the fire, Chemtool was the largest manufacturer of grease in the United States.
A similar fire was reported at a Lubrizol plant in France in September of 2019. A cause of that fire remains unknown, with the fire producing a similarly-large plume of black smoke that reached more than 12 miles high and resulted in a 1,600-foot exclusion zone. No injuries were reported in the previous fire.