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updated: 3/23/2013 10:10 AM

Cary factory to stay closed until fire cause found

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  • The Cary Fire Department investigate the scene of an explosion and fire March 6 at Fox Valley Systems and FVMS Inc. Attorney General Lisa Madigan ordered the aerosol paint factory remain closed until a cause is determined.

       The Cary Fire Department investigate the scene of an explosion and fire March 6 at Fox Valley Systems and FVMS Inc. Attorney General Lisa Madigan ordered the aerosol paint factory remain closed until a cause is determined.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald staff report

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said a Cary aerosol paint manufacturing company will remain closed until the cause of an explosion and fire earlier this month can be determined.

Madigan's office filed a three-count complaint against Fox Valley Systems and FVMS Inc. this week, alleging substantial danger to the environment, air pollution and water pollution hazards resulting from the March 6 explosion and fire. Each count seeks the maximum statutory civil penalty of $50,000 per violation and $10,000 for each day the company is in violation, according to a news release issued by the attorney general.

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The explosion and fire at the factory, 640 Industrial Drive, injured three employees and forced the evacuation of 20 to 25 businesses around the facility.

"We must determine what circumstances led to this dangerous event, mitigate any environmental damage and ensure the facility is safe for workers to return," Madigan said in a news release.

The McHenry County circuit court this week entered an agreed order that Madigan's office filed with Fox Valley Systems and FVMS requiring the defendants to conduct a complete analysis of events leading up to the explosion and to present a plan for approval to prevent future incidents before the facility can reopen.

In addition, the defendants must secure the damaged facility to prevent access, ensure that chemicals and other materials remaining at the site are safely removed and provide Madigan's office and the Illinois EPA with the names and quantities of the chemicals released into the air or into sewer drains and the ground surrounding the plant after the fire.

Assistant attorneys General Nichole Sangha and Gerald Karr are handling the case for Madigan's Environmental Bureau.

Fox Valley Systems manufactures spray paints for use in marking and striping surfaces.

Cary police and fire officials, as well as representatives of the state fire marshal and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were involved in the investigation after the fire. OSHA had also looked into the company following an accident in November 1995, when two workers were burned after a solvent splash generated a static charge that ignited vapors, according to a report on the OSHA website.

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