Pump failure spurs fire call at Akzo Nobel

No injuries were reported Monday in the third incident this year at Akzo Nobel chemical company east of Morris.

The incident began about 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, when either a belt burned off a large diesel pump that operates the company's water system, or the motor the operates the pump seized up and stopped, Morris Fire Chief Bob Coleman noted.

The incident created quite a bit of smoke and put the system out of service, but there was no fire, the chief said.

Repair crews were on their to repair the damage Monday.

Plant manager Stefan Svensson said the incident occurred during the plant's annual turnaround, a type of maintenance activity.

He said the belt on the plant's fire pump backup system got hot and created a lot of smoke, which activated the automatic smoke detector.

"It was just a hot engine, so we had smoke and that kicked in the smoke detector," Steffanson said at the scene. "It did its thing, and everything is under control. All the backups were in place, and every one of them worked well."

Coleman said the other two incidents took place last spring. One was an outdoor blaze in which the plant's product was burning. The other was an indoor incident also related to a pump failure.

The Minooka Fire Department assisted the Morris Fire Department at the scene Monday, along with the Morris and Minooka ambulance services, and the emergency response team from LyondellBassel chemical company.