Three people were injured on March 6, 2013 after two explosions at a paint manufacturing facility. The facility manufactures marking paint, such as striping paint for parking lots. The first explosion occurred at Fox Valley Services located in Cary, Illinois around 1pm. The second occurred at approximately 2:45pm, after emergency crews arrived. The three employees of the facility were taken to the hospital for treatment, however their conditions were not believed to be life threatening.

The explosions blew off the front of the brick building, where approximately two dozen people were working. Several nearby businesses were also evacuated. The fire took about three hours to extinguish. Firefighters focused on keeping the product tanks located within the facility cool to maintain control of the fire. However, after the second explosion, they were forced to fight the fire in a defensive position to stop the fire from spreading. A hazardous materials team and foam-dispensing unit were also brought in to contain the fire.

The cause of the explosions remains under investigation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be brought in to investigate the incidents. There have been two previously reported OSHA violations against Fox Valley Services, including a serious violation involving heavy machinery in 2009.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is also getting involved in the explosion investigation. The IEPA is seeking a court order to prevent Fox Valley Services from reopening and believe that the investigation should not only seek to determine the cause of the fire, but the environmental impact, as well. The IEPA have asked Fox Valley Services to provide a list of all chemicals used at the facility, in addition to a copy of its risk management plan.

Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan announced that Fox Valley Services must remain closed until the explosion and fire investigation is completed. The Attorney General’s office filed a three-count against the aerosol paint manufacturing company that alleges substantial danger to the environment, air pollution, and water pollution hazards that resulted from the explosion and fire on March 6th.  “We must determine what circumstances led to this dangerous event, mitigate any environmental damage and ensure the facility is safe for workers to return,” said Madigan.

Fox Valley Services has entered into an agreed order with the McHenry County Circuit court stating that before the facility can re-open, it must conduct a complete analysis of the events that led up to the explosion and develop a plan for approval to prevent future incidents.