WRIC Richmond News and Weather – Seven Hurt When Microburst Hits …

SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY – The National Weather Service will visit Spotsylvania County on Monday, after a severe storm tore through, destroying a gym and damaging multiple buildings, injuring several people.

Seven girls were hurt when the Cheer Fusion gym at 86 Fleming Street collapsed. The strong winds knocked down the cinder block walls and ripped the roof off. The roof flew about 250 feet through the air and hit a nearby house.

About 20 or 25 people were inside the gym for cheerleading practice when the storm hit, according to Assistant Fire Chief Mark Kuechler with the Spotsylvania County Volunteer Fire Department. Three of those injured were treated at the scene, and four others were taken to a local hospital, where they were kept overnight for observation. None of the injuries are life-threatening. 

“I personally consider it a miracle,” said Chief Kuechler. “It’s miraculous no one was seriously injured.”

Kuechler says multiple homes and buildings were damaged by wind and falling trees. The damage extends for about a quarter-mile between Jefferson Davis Highway and Lafayette Avenue, according to Kuechler. At the height of the storm, nearly 30 emergency responders were active. 

“I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for 45 years,” said Kuechler. “I’ve seen ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes. But for a spot afternoon storm, this was pretty violent.”

A 95-year-old man was forced out of his Lafayette Boulevard home by the damage. Frank Kuhn, Jr. told the Fredericksburg Patch, “I was in bed resting, and the whole damn house shook… It knocked the screen door off my back door. I went through nine wars and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Spotsylvania County building inspectors will assess the damage Monday, and determine whether any of the affected structures will have to be torn down. The National Weather Service will send a team to look at the damage and figure out what kind of storm hit the county.

Anyone wishing to donate to “Cheer Fusion,” the organization housed in the collapsed gymnasium, may visit https://www.wepay.com/donations/cheerfusion.

 

Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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