Mission’s Emergency Shelter Closed By Blast

One of 42 buildings damaged by the natural gas explosion in Springfield Friday night was the emergency shelter of the Springfield Rescue Mission.

Director Ron Willoughby says most staff and residents were in the basement eating dinner when a spark set off gas which had built up in a night club a block away,  and no one at the mission was hurt. The building —  which had just undergone $240,000 worth of renovation — suffered damage which has made in uninhabitable for now.

He says about thirty broken windows must be replaced, and some interior walls were cracked.

Willoughby says they don’t have a date for when they’ll be able to re-open the shelter —  but expects repairs to take at least a month.  Inspectors from the city, the gas company and the insurance company  also must tour the building.

The number for donations is (413)  732-0808.


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