UIC students lend a hand after chemical plant fire

Jasper Gabriel and Trevor Cannon
Jasper Gabriel (left) and Trevor Cannon

Two UIC students were among volunteers who assisted local residents after the June 14 chemical explosion at the Chemtool plant in Rockton.

The students — Jasper Gabriel and Trevor Cannon, who are interning this summer with Christopher Burke Engineering — went door to door collecting survey data from local businesses and residential homes to find out what support the community needed after the fire.

“I helped by assisting the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Team Rubicon in their efforts to survey the damage around the community,” said Gabriel, an undergraduate majoring in civil engineering. “It was nice to help support a community that was struck by disaster, and it was especially relieving to see that many residents were able to go back to their homes.”

Safety was a major priority during the surveying as Gabriel, Cannon and other volunteers were equipped with safety vests and sent off in teams.

“This experience showed that there are many around us who are willing to help others in times of need and that there is a sense of community even during hardships. It also allowed me to network with people I wouldn’t normally meet, gain skills and field experience outside my field of study and expand my volunteer opportunities to better help future communities,” Gabriel said.

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