ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — A survey was conducted involving Rockton residents, about their health and thoughts one year after the Chemtool fire.

In June of 2021, the Chemtool Plant in Rockton was engulfed in flames. Now Winnebago County Health Department wants to hear from the residents. This is the second survey done on the matter.

“Our sample size is not large. I don’t want you thinking this was some huge population-level study, but I think it was important to hear from your community,” said Dr. Sandra Martell a Public Health Administrator for Winnebago County Health Department.

During the presentation, Dr. Martell emphasized the results do come after the fire, but are not definitive effects of the devastation.

“So about 60% noted a new or worsening physical health condition since the Chemtool fire. Now we kind of have to take this into perspective it’s not causal, it’s their self-report, its association,” Martell said.

The most common symptoms were congestion, mucus, headache, coughing, and eye irritation. A little over 40% of people said they had no health issues.

“When I say lack of preparedness or training, we went back and read the responses on that. They said look we’re a small community. We did the best we could, look at all those fire trucks that were there. Did we have a enough to respond,” Martell said.

The main concern was being prepared for the unknown. While most feel the response team and first responders did a good job, the Stateline is a manufacturing region with many other facilities like Chemtool.

“I think we need to help people understand how they can gain some control in the area and so from our preparedness planning at local level community and first responders you know law, and fire as well as from our public health perspective and our planning efforts which are counting around how we can help our community,” said Martell.