An industrial fire involving lithium batteries continues to burn in Morris, Illinois, as emergency crews enter their second day of battling the smoke and flames.

Officials asked residents to stay away as the fire continues to burn. Residents in affected areas in Morris had to evacuate Tuesday over concerns that the lithium batteries in the building might catch fire and produce dangerous particulates.

Lithium explodes when it encounters water, so fire crews need to smother the flames and are working to safely clear the scene.

Fire officials reported high heat and humidity caused smoke to hang lower and closer to areas homes. The noted that the rain Tuesday night helped clear some of the low-hanging smoke.


The fire originated at the old Federal Paper Board building, which was storing a large quantity of lithium batteries. Superior Battery now uses the building and reported the building held 80 to 100 tons of batteries.

About 130 total fire personnel were on the scene and about 30 fire units.