SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Many businesses in and around Springfield's Entertainment District were left severely damaged after Friday night's explosion.
"Scores" Gentlemen's Club was completely leveled. All that's left now is a massive black crater.
One of the club's dancers--who wishes to remain anonymous--spoke exclusively to 22News. She said she was evacuated just an hour before the blast and is grateful to be alive.
"I'm still kind of in shock over the whole thing. It's just scary, the time frame, just thinking, another 45 minutes to an hour and we would've been in that", she said.
Jabir Kahn is the owner of JJ Mini Mart on Pearl Street. He was right behind the counter when the explosion happened. Part of his ceiling came crashing down, many of his products were destroyed, and his storefront windows were completely shattered--which made the store an east target for looters.
"Ignorant people just walking in during the middle of a disaster, just reaching in through the broken glass and trying to take whatever they could get their hands on," said Eladio Torres.
But late Friday night, police stepped-up anti-looting patrols and since then there have been no major problems.
Meantime, business owners are trying to figure out how to move on from here.
Officials say it could take months before some of these businesses are able to rebuild.
This explosion has come as another blow to the city, which has still been trying to rebuild from the June 1st tornado.
Russ Stebbins said, "We've been through the tornado, snowfall, and it's a tragedy, but we just got to get out there and start fixing it up."
Tthat's exactly what they'll do; help each other recover from another tragedy.