31ºF

Days after deadly explosion, memorials continue to grow in Rockbridge County

The site where the South River Market once stood has turned into a memorial

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – The Rockbridge County community continues to come together in a time of sadness.

The site of the fire at the South River Market Friday morning has turned into a memorial for those at the gas station during the explosion. 

Whether it's by looking at the damage or leaving flowers, people on Monday said they're hopeful the community will support one another during this difficult time.

FIRST OF FOUR VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

A community filled with hurt. And people in Rockbridge County are trying to understand why this tragedy happened.

"It's going to take time. I don't know if anything were ever to come back here, but it's going to take time for everyone to heal," said Steve Tolley, who knows many of those affected by the deadly fire. "Ever since this happened I've been praying for them and may they be with the good Lord up there. The ones that didn't make it, and the ones that did get hurt recover and be with their families. May God bless all the families."

PHOTOS: Three days later: Explosion at South River Market in Rockbridge County

Pamela Douglas, who was in the area when she heard news of the explosion, stopped by to drop off flowers and pay her respects.

"I just felt it was just a token of saying we're sorry and we're thinking of you. We're hurting for you and the family," Douglas said. "I had just taken my husband to the hospital and we were in the hospital when they got the phone call that there's been an accident here at the South River Market."

The Rev. Bryon LePere, the chaplin with the Buena Vista Police Department and the pastor at Buena Vista Baptist Church, helped assist families Friday.

"Gave me a chance to sit with them and pray with them. And then I tried to be a liaison for first responders floating back and forth," LePere said.

LaPere says this community is resilient and there's light at the end of these dark days.

"How we respond to this and how we live there, people and these families will be a representation of one of the reasons that makes Buena Vista the blessing that it is," LePere said.

There's still no official word from State Police on what caused the fire.

On Friday at 8 p.m., the Greater Vision Pentecostal Church will hold a candlelight vigil.


About the Author: