At least 5 injured in blast, fire at Virginia strip mall

Explosion reported on South Main Street in Harrisonburg Saturday morning

An explosion was reported on South Main Street in Harrisonburg on Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m

A firefighter walks through the burning rubble of a shopping center after an explosion in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.

At least three people were hurt in an explosion Saturday morning near downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia, a city spokesman says.

The victim who sustained only minor injuries has been confirmed as a student at James Madison University, according to a statement by the school.

Around 8:30 a.m., the building caught fire, sending large plumes of smoke into the air.

The cause of the explosion was not clear immediately and an investigation was underway.

Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted that he has deployed state emergency personnel, and called the incident a "gas explosion".

Employees at a nearby vape shop and music store were not injured, the businesses said. Two other JMU students were treated on the scene and released.

Tobia said when crews arrived, the injured were outside of the building. Videos from the scene show serious damage to the commercial area. Firefighters continue to work at the scene, but the fire has reportedly been "contained".

"It woke me up personally and I mean, I knew right away that it was something not normal", Katie Landes told the station.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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