Chicago, IL — The person most seriously injured in a Chicago building explosion and collapse earlier this week has died, Chicago fire officials said Friday.
He had been taken to Loyola Medical Center with extensive burns before succumbing to his injuries days later, according to CFD.
Shabron Robinson was known just as he appeared in pictures shared by his friend and colleague: friendly with a flare for fashion.
“Very nice gentleman, snazzy dresser, always had a kind word to say,” neighbor Alvan Young recalled.
Fire officials say more than 90% of Robinson’s body was badly burned when something exploded inside his third floor apartment Tuesday morning.
“When you looked down the hallway, all you saw was massive debris,” Young said. “Where his door would have been was piles and piles and piles of bricks. Had us majorly concerned.”
Somehow, the building’s owner said Robinson made it out of the smoking, crumbling apartment.
“I think one of the surprising things is, they said in that condition, he was able to run out of the building and he was found in front of the building by the fire department, where they put him on a gurney and took him to the hospital,” said Roman Viere, the building owner.
Fire officials said the explosion came from natural gas igniting, and the building’s owner said it sparked inside Robinson’s unit. The cause of that ignition remains undetermined.
“I have not been given any information by any of the authorities as to what they believe occurred just yet,” Viere said.
A longtime letter carrier on the city’s West Side, the union said in a statement, “Shabron had a very spirited personality and was well liked by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.”
The collapse and explosion Tuesday initially left eight people injured, including three seriously.
Surveillance video captured the explosion. A woman who had been standing idly on the sidewalk runs in terror, dodging bricks, cement and shards of glass spewing into the street.
“It’s surreal,” Viere said. “Nothing could prepare you for a situation which we are dealing with today.”