Forty-eight other buildings in the downtown area were damaged but repairable, the chief said.
A gas line exploded shortly before
"They had begun to make repairs when the explosion occurred," Kennedy said.
One man was killed from the
"We will get through this and will be a stronger
The press conference also addressed denizens of downtown who were displaced by the blast. They were urged to call the Salvation Army Red Kettle line at 232-6739.
Efforts were continuing to do a damage assessment of the area and a city official said it was possible it could be finished soon.
This story will be updated.
"I am going to be alright, but right now, I just don't feel safe anywhere," said the owner of CC Vapor Paradise, a vape shop on
She was inside the store when a massive explosion, caused by a gas leak, rocked
One man was killed from an
The drop ceiling and the dry wall is now all over her wares. And she, like several other business owners and downtown residents, don't know when they are going to be able to go back.
"The whole floor and ceiling fell in on him,"
The elder Long was okay and without injuries. Hoerr, however, suffered contused ribs and possibly a fracture. And then there's the emotional toll. She was still shaken up by the blast which rocked houses and shattered glass for several blocks. People in the area said they felt the rumble for miles.
"Every single one of those trials and tribulations, you have emerged stronger and better, and I have no doubt that will happen here," said State Rep.
Invited were homeowners and business owners affected by the explosion which occurred at about
"Pictures fell off the wall, the glass shattered and the power went off and on," she said.
"As an entire community, we mourn the loss of
Residents also heard from
Reaction from the residents was mostly positive with several people praising the efforts of the first responders.
It appears from Nichols' comments that cleanup efforts were going better than expected.
"We have made a lot more progress right now than I ever assumed we would have last night," Nichols said.
"If this had happened one or two hours earlier, we'd be talking about a much different story," said State Rep.
That worker was identified Thursday as
The square remains closed
"What we are seeing is that you have some of the buildings that are newer that it appears the window structure was newer and didn't blow out," the chief said. "So really, the travel path of this explosion and the force of the explosion really kind of dictated what areas were hit the hardest," the chief said. "But really, this is all just a guess as to what is going on inside those buildings."
And that was corroborated by Dawn Giacabezi, who owns
"We could feel the house shake," she said. "One of my staff called and said our office was a hole in the ground."
An update on the people who were injured was available but it didn't appear any of the utility workers' injuries were life-threatening from the way officials discussed them. Pate did say it was a tough time for the utility, saying they were a "close family."
"It's a tough day," he said. "We are mourning the loss of a co-worker . . . I ask that everyone keep their thoughts and prayers with that family."
Nichols said that the accident in the 10 block of
Regarding business owners who want to see how their buildings were affected, the chief said please be patient.
"This isn't a quick fix," he said, adding there would be a meeting later today for those business owners to meet with city staff. Also, he said, insurance adjusters were on site as well.
Officials were expected to brief the media at a news conference later in the day, at
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