At Least 5 Injured in Blast, Fire at Virginia Strip Mall

  • At Least 5 Injured in Blast, Fire at Virginia Strip Mall

At Least 5 Injured in Blast, Fire at Virginia Strip Mall

Five people were hurt after a likely gas explosion at a strip mall in Harrisonburg, Va., just blocks from the campus of James Madison University, according to reports.

Parks said the building is a total loss.

Parks told CNN that officials are working to contain a three-alarm fire that spread to at least two other commercial buildings. Two of the victims were taken to the hospital in serious condition, while a third was taken with minor injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The university said in a Facebook post that three students from the school's Army ROTC program who had been participating in a 10-mile race were among those injured. Harrisonburg Fire Chief Matt Tobia said that an investigation could take days to determine the cause.

Ralph Northam said in a tweet that he deployed state emergency personnel for additional support to local firefighters to the scene, which he referred to as a gas explosion.

Social media reactions indicated that the initial explosion was felt possibly miles away. Two other students were at the scene, but were treated and released immediately. "So, I looked right outside the window that was right by me and I saw that there was the beginning of some serious smoke going on".