A fire in the 900 block of Benton Street in Morris on Tuesday afternoon has led to an evacuation in the immediate area. It was around noon that the Morris Fire Department was called to the old Morris Paper Mill Plant. It was first believed to be just a fire but the discovery of lithium batteries in one of the older warehouse buildings on the property. There may be as many 180,000 pounds of lithium batteries. It’s believed that water may have seeped into the building from the recent rains and came into contact with the batteries which cause toxic smoke to billow from the building. There’s also the concern of the chemical reaction causing explosions within the building.
WCCQ Reporter Terry Christensen says that the explosions from the batteries are often and described the explosions as very similar to fireworks. Anyone living in the 900 block of Benton, Douglas or Armstrong Streets were asked to evacuate their residences. If anyone needs a place to go, the Grundy County Administration Building at Union Street is taking people. This is a developing story. Stay tuned to WCCQ for the latest.