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Harrisonburg Fire Department canvasses homes near October 17th’s explosion site to check for damage

Crews were reaching out to homes potentially affected by the nearby blast
Published: Nov. 1, 2020 at 7:12 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -The explosion at Miller Circle in Harrisonburg happened two weeks ago, and Sunday members of the Harrisonburg Fire Department were talking and handing out pamphlets to those who live nearby asking if they’ve seen any damage to their home.

“Due to the explosion, there was a big enough explosion, we’ve had numerous buildings with structural damage. We want to make sure they know to look for foundation, walls, or attics, places that may be hidden, that they wouldn’t think to look at to make sure their homes are safe,” Battalion Chief Jeff Rhodes of HFD, said.

The Howdyshell family lives directly across from the explosion, and remembers the moment the blast went off.

“The fire was as tall as those trees. It was all black smoke coming up real big,” Chris Howdyshell said.

“We didn’t know what was happening, there was, at first we shuttled everyone to the basement for cover, and then there were people out in the street yelling ‘get out of your houses, get out of your houses.’ So, we jumped in the car, with shoes in hand, and called our friends and said ‘can we come sit in your yards,’” Mariana Bowling, said.

The family said they had some windows and doors pop out of frame, and will plan to get their house checked out to make sure everything is okay.

The fire department has a hotline you can call if you notice any damage in your home from the blast 540-217-5263.

There have been GoFundMe pages created to help out those who saw significant damage to their home.

Mariana Bowling started a GoFundMe to help their neighbors across the street.

And a page was started to help another neighbor in the area.

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