Element Vapors Harrisonburg unsure of next steps after Saturday explosion

Malcolm Sacre, Operations Manager of Element Vapors Harrisonburg, says he is still in shock
Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 8:09 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)- Sunday, crews from the Harrisonburg Fire Department, Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene of Saturday’s explosion at Miller Circle off South Main Street.

Malcolm Sacre is the Operations Manager of Element Vapors Harrisonburg, one of the stores demolished in the explosion. He said he wasn’t in the store at the time.

“'I actually received so many phone calls, that Verizon thought that I was getting spammed and turned off all incoming phone calls,” Sacre said.

But they weren’t spam calls, they were family, friends and customers were calling making sure he was okay. He then came to the scene between 9 and 10 o’clock Saturday morning.

"Shock. It’s just hard to believe everything is gone,” Sacre said.

He wasn’t working at the time of the explosion, but says he very well could’ve been. Element Vapors Harrisonburg didn’t open until 11 a.m. because they pushed back hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. But before the pandemic, they opened earlier.

Now, rubble sits where the building used to stand.

“All the work that got put into what it was, it’s just devastating,” Sacre said.

Sacre wants to thank the community for its support.

“The community has gathered around all of us to help us rebuild in any way, shape, or form so we owe everything to the community,” Sacre said.

Element Vapors had just remodeled to better accommodate pandemic guidelines.

“Actually just finished remodeling about a month ago, to make it more open for, you know, more customers. At times like this is when we need human interaction and that’s what I was trying to build,” Sacre said.

Right now they don’t have any immediate plans for the store.

“All I can say is I can’t wait for 2021,” Sacre said.

Director of Communications for the city, Michael Parks, said as of Sunday afternoon, there were no updates on the investigation.

There was a gofundme created to help Element Vapors and another one to help the rest of the stores affected by Saturday’s blast.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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