Apartment Laundry Room Explodes


An early morning explosion and fire destroyed the laundry room of an apartment complex on Vine Street on Tuesday morning.

Credit: Amber MomtoNyah Rice

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)-- An early morning explosion and fire destroyed the laundry room of an apartment complex on Vine Street on Tuesday morning. There are no reports of injuries, according to Chief Larry Shifflett, chief of the Harrisonburg Fire Department.

The fire department received the call just before 7 am. as huge flames poured of the room for about 20 minutes, until crews were able to get it under control.

Damage is estimated to be about $50,000-75,000, according to Shifflett. The explosion was related to the gas tank outside the laundry room, according to Deputy Fire Chief Ian Bennett.

A propane leak, followed by a spark in the laundry room likely led to the fire starting, according to Shifflett. He said that he came to this conclusion after seeing that one of the pipes had some damage and believes this incident was likely accidental.

Bennett said that none of the 12 apartments in the complex had any smoke or fire damage; however, half of them are without electricity since the electrical box was near the laundry room. The residents of those apartments are staying with friends and family, according to Bennett.

"Ten minutes to seven I heard a loud kaboom, and we could feel a little shock wave," said Jack Scarry, who lives near the area.

"I was just getting ready to start my day, and I'm like, 'That's some hell of a day.' I ain't kidding. I am still a little jittery, but I'm not really shook up about it," said Bill Cummins, who also lives near the area.

Vine Street was shut down for hours Tuesday morning because of the fire.

The fire did not enter the surrounding apartments, and residents should be able to return.


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